The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

The Benefits of Domestic Energy Production

Jane Van Ryan

Jane Van Ryan
Posted October 25, 2010

Last Friday, API President and CEO Jack Gerard delivered a speech at the Clinton School of Public Service in Little Rock, Arkansas, describing the benefits of oil and natural gas to the American way of life and the economy.

Among his key points were the following:

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry can put Americans back to work.

"With deficits spiraling upwards, nearly 15 million Americans out of work, and stimulus dollars less effective than hoped, increased domestic oil and natural gas development makes more sense now than ever. Many Americans see the value. Oil and natural gas companies would welcome the opportunity. However, government policies will largely determine how much companies are able to increase their investment in U.S. projects and how many additional new jobs can then be created."

Renewables are an increasingly important part of the U.S. energy portfolio.

"Biofuels, geothermal energy, solar power, wind, advanced batteries - you name it, our industry has aided the development. We understand our nation will use renewable in increasing amounts. We will be providing some of those renewables. But the energy reality is that oil and natural gas will continue to be a critical part of the energy mix."

The United States has two choices: 1) encourage more produce of U.S. oil and natural gas; or 2) discourage U.S. production and import more oil.

"Estimates suggest that, at current rates of production, there are 70 years of oil and more than a century's worth of natural gas recoverable in the United States. And, if history is any gauge, these estimates are conservative. Technology will continue to improve, upping the amount of recoverable resources available."

The industry can protect the environment while producing energy.

"The Gulf spill was tragic and damaging, but it also was unprecedented. Over the past 65 years, the industry has safely drilled more than 40,000 wells in the Gulf...But, as unprecedented as the spill was, so, too, were the response and cleanup and the efforts by the industry and by government to work to reduce the risks of a similar event ever happening again."

The United States should strive for balance.

"We think government should harmonize our energy and environmental goals, encouraging responsible development that creates jobs and helps drive our economy."

The full text of Jack's speech is available below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jane Van Ryan was formerly senior communications manager and new media advisor at the American Petroleum Institute (API), where she wrote blog posts and produced podcasts and videos. Before coming to API, Jane managed communications for a large science and engineering corporation, and for a top-tier research and engineering university. A few years ago, you might have seen her in your living room when she delivered the news on television. Jane officially retired from API in 2011 and now freelances as an independent communications consultant when not gardening at her farm in Virginia.