The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

A Commitment to Safety

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 31, 2011

Editors note: The following letter to the editor from API President and CEO, Jack Gerard appeared in the New York Times on January 31, 2011.

The good news is that "business as usual" for the United States oil and natural gas industry means that we are building on nearly a century of commitment to safe and reliable operations. In the nine months since the tragic accident in the Gulf of Mexico, we've been at work carrying out many of the recommendations now finding their way into reports.

We have produced new guidance on well cementing, begun a new standard on deepwater well construction, held workshops on carrying out a comprehensive safety management system, nearly completed work on state-of-the-art well containment systems, and initiated business planning for a new, independently audited safety body.

In addition, our safety management practices have been adopted into government rules.

Last year's unprecedented accident is the exception to a 60-year record of more than 42,000 safely drilled wells. Our record of declining injuries was achieved by businesses that understand the risks of operating offshore and will continue working hard to reduce them further.

Denigrating our commitment to safety is offensive to the millions of men and women who work in this industry, and it discourages the continued development of energy and jobs our nation needs to stay prosperous and strong.

Jack Gerard

President and C.E.O.

American Petroleum Institute

Washington, Jan. 25, 2011

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Mark also was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela live in Occoquan, Va., where they enjoy their four grandchildren.