The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Meeting the Challenge: "Win the Future"

Jack Gerard

Jack Gerard
Posted February 24, 2011

President Obama recently called on Americans to "win the future." In his State of the Union address, he challenged U.S. industry to create jobs, invest in technology and innovation, and lead alternative energy development.

We're on it. America's oil and natural gas industry has long been meeting these challenges--and with the right policies encouraging private-sector innovation and investment, we're ready to do more to win the future:

  • The industry already supports 9.2 million U.S. jobs, and we could create more.
  • Our companies are technological innovators, having invested hundreds of billions of dollars over the last decade.
  • The industry has invested more than the federal government and more than all other industries combined in low- and zero-carbon emission energy technologies.

Despite this promise of economic progress, the industry's ability to contribute to the economic recovery is once again threatened. Proposed higher energy taxes, such as those included in the president's budget, would jeopardize job creation, discourage investment and lower government revenues. These taxes are in addition to overreaching EPA regulations and restricted access to oil and natural gas resources here in the United States.

While we applaud the President's challenge, punishing an industry that is a leader in innovation and investment is not the way to ensure tomorrow's economic and energy security. Our industry is already helping America win the future--while providing nearly $100 million to the federal Treasury every day. Instead of throwing obstacles in our path, the government should allow us to do more.


Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute (API), the national trade association that represents all aspects of America’s oil and natural gas industry. He also has served as the president and CEO of trade associations representing the chemical and mining industries. Jack understands how Washington works. He spent several years working in the U.S. Senate and House, and co-founded a Washington-based government relations consulting firm. A native of Idaho, Jack also is very active in the Boy Scouts of America, a university graduate program on politics, and his church’s leadership. He and his wife are the proud parents of eight children, including twin boys adopted from Guatemala.