Posted April 28, 2011
Editors Note: As U.S. oil and natural gas companies begin to report their first quarter earnings this week, API President and CEO Jack Gerard said critics should put the information into perspective, recognizing the valuable contributions the oil and natural gas industry provides to our nation:
The U.S. oil and natural gas industry's strong earnings signal growing strength in our economy. We should be proud of the success of an industry that supports 9.2 million American workers and 7.5 percent of our economy while also supplying income to millions of the nation's retirees. Oil and natural gas companies are a vital part of our nation's industrial and manufacturing base. They provide most of America's energy and are responsible for one in every five dollars invested in renewable energy.
The positive industry earnings being reported reflect the size necessary for companies to be globally competitive with national oil companies, along with a steady rise in crude oil prices driven by rapidly growing world oil demand and instability in the Middle East. However, while the industry's earnings are measured in the billions, so are its enormous investments in new job-creating energy projects and the substantial taxes paid to our government, which are higher than most other industries. It's important to recognize that oil and natural gas industry earnings on each dollar of sales are comparable to those of the rest of American industry.
We need public policies that encourage development of our oil and natural gas resources at home, which will create good paying American jobs, contribute billions to the federal government, and increase our energy security.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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.