The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - May 26, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted May 26, 2011

Duluth News Tribune: State View: Gas Prices Effected by a Wide Range of Factors: There are certain misconceptions about petroleum and major American oil companies. First, the largest major oil company does not even rank in the top ten largest producers of petroleum when nationalized oil companies like the National Oil Company of Libya are considered. Second, local gasoline marketers determine the final retail price. Major oil companies like ExxonMobil do not own and operate stations in Wisconsin, but sell to local retailers at a wholesale or "rack" price. Third, the United States imports nine million barrels of crude oil per day and Canada, not Saudi Arabia, is our largest supplier. Fourth, demand for petroleum is increasing in the United States and will continue to do so through 2035 and beyond. Fifth, almost one-third of a barrel of crude oil is used for products other than motor fuel. These products numbering in the hundreds, include paint, fertilizer, plastics, medicine, carpeting and asphalt. Finally, according to the Energy Information Administration, out of every dollar spent on gasoline, roughly 68 cents is the cost of crude oil and about 12 cents goes to state and federal taxes for maintaining our transportation system. Refining, distribution and marketing, including profits, add another 20 cents. The Oklahoman: EPA Chief Lisa Jackson Says Natural Gas Production is a "Good Thing": The head of the Environmental Protection Agency told a House committee Tuesday that she favored natural gas production and said she didn't know of any "proven case" in which hydraulic fracturing had affected drinking water...The process, in use for decades, involves injecting chemicals, water and sand into a well to fracture rock and release gas. Jackson said natural gas creates less air pollution than other fossil fuels "so increasing America's natural gas production is a good thing."...Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Tulsa, said later that other EPA officials have said the same thing in recent years. "Lisa Jackson's statement today that she does not know of any proven cases of water contamination further demonstrates that states are regulating hydraulic fracturing effectively and efficiently, and there is no need for the federal government to step in," Inhofe said.

Murray Ledger & Times: Domestic Energy Vital to U.S. Economy: As gas prices continue to climb, this Administration's latest tax hike proposal is a frantic attempt to distract us from what can only be described as their war on energy production. Fortunately, Republicans have an alternative proposal that actually seeks to boost domestic energy production. It's a real solution to the nation's problem of high gas prices and not enough jobs, not a tax increase that would just make things worse. The Republican plan would return American offshore energy production to where it was before the Obama Administration clamped down on American energy. It would direct the federal government to continue with previously scheduled offshore lease sales in Virginia, Alaska and the Gulf. It would rip away the red tape that has hindered energy production by putting reasonable time limits on the review process for drilling permits. The Interior Department would have 30 days to review permit applications--to make a decision one way or the other--with two opportunities to extend that time period.

Additional Resources:

KGW.com: API CEO on Oil Industry Profits

Hot Air Blog: EPA Administrator Confirms: No Fracking Water Contamination

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rayola Dougher is senior economist at The American Petroleum Institute (API), where she analyzes information, manages projects and develops briefing materials on energy markets and oil industry policy issues. She is the author or co-author of economic research studies covering a diverse range of topics including crude oil and petroleum product markets, gasoline taxes, energy conservation and competition in retail markets. In addition to testifying before federal and state legislators, she has participated in numerous newspaper, radio and television interviews on a wide range of issues affecting the oil industry, including crude oil and gasoline prices, industry taxes and earnings, exploration and production, and refining and marketing topics.

Prior to joining API, Rayola worked at the Institute for Energy Analysis where her research focused on carbon dioxide related issues and international energy demand and supply forecasts. Rayola holds a Masters degree in Economic Development and East Asian studies from the American University and a degree in History and Political Science from the State University of New York at Brockport.