The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Today - June 1, 2011

Rayola Dougher

Rayola Dougher
Posted June 1, 2011

The Hill's Congress Blog: Consumers Dealing with Consequences of Inaction on Energy: We have not done an inventory in decades, which makes current statistics, like the frequently cited one that America only has 3 percent of the world's reserves, at best meaningless if not outright misleading. We didn't know five years ago that we had more natural gas than Saudi Arabia has oil and today we don't know how much oil we really have on and off our shores. The oil that we do know we have is largely under lock and key. The U.S. has vast untapped reserves on the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Arctic, but most areas are off-limits for exploration. In a refreshing nod to reality, the House of Representatives passed legislation in recent weeks designed to open some of those areas up for exploration. But just days after passage, a similar effort in the U.S. Senate fell far short of the 60 votes needed to pass. Many senators that opposed that effort instead supported legislation designed to raise taxes on oil and natural gas production - which would only serve to push prices even higher. That should make those families trying to get in their cars for summer vacation puzzled, if not angry. The Heritage Foundation: American Energy Freedom: The Basis for Economic Recovery: Over the past four decades, the federal government has been restricting Americans' access to their own domestic energy reserves, increasing the cost of production and distribution of electricity and transportation fuels through price controls, energy taxes, overregulation, and drilling moratoriums--using the politicians' favorite tactic of fear-mongering in the name of environmental protection. Energy propels quality of life in an economy. Electricity is the lifeblood of the U.S. economy. Energy is essential for all transportation, and for all food and consumer products on which Americans rely every day. Moreover, affordable energy is the key to lasting economic recovery. Many small businesses and families are still struggling to make ends meet during this fragile economic rebound, and the last thing they need is rapidly increasing electricity, fuel, and food costs. A market-based energy policy is the best way to keep the cost of energy affordable for families and small, medium, and large businesses--especially during the current economic recession. An effective energy policy embraces and encourages the use of affordable, abundant, and reliable domestic energy resources. Any energy policy that tightens supplies and raises prices will hurt everyone--especially the lower and middle income--and needlessly prolong the economic misery. It is vitally important to thwart policy initiatives that cause higher energy prices, make American manufacturing uncompetitive, and send American jobs out of the country.

USA Today: Cut the Red Tape: Free Up Oil Drilling in Alaska: Even more domestic offshore drilling will be required if our country is to increase its stable and secure energy. One reasonable place to accomplish that goal lies beneath the waters off of Alaska's northern shores. According to government estimates, that area holds approximately 27 billion barrels of oil, more than the individual petroleum resources of all but eight countries. It also contains 132 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, enough to supply the United States for six years. With our demand for oil and natural gas expected to increase during the coming decades, we cannot afford to leave that energy untapped. Responsibly developing Alaska's immense resources has the potential to mark a new chapter in America's energy future. Unfortunately, the Gulf of Mexico is not the only domestic energy opportunity that has languished on the back burner of federal regulators in recent months. Despite the fact that our federal government has been granting leases for exploration purpose off Alaska's shores since 2005, regulators have failed to provide the necessary permits to allow drilling there.

Daily Caller: The Keystone Pipeline: A Bridge to Economic Growth: Americans are worried about high gasoline prices and slow economic growth. The State Department has a rare opportunity to mitigate both of these problems at once -- by signing off on the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. The Keystone pipeline, which would transport crude oil from Canada to refineries in Oklahoma and Texas, would secure vital resources from a trusted ally. It would also stimulate the economy, increase government revenue, and create 13,000 high-wage construction jobs over the next two years and 340,000 jobs over the next five years in manufacturing and service industries that would benefit from the pipeline's construction... Claims that the Keystone pipeline would be unsafe are entirely disingenuous -- the Keystone pipeline has met or exceeded every federal safety requirement. In fact, there is ample evidence that it would be the safest pipeline ever constructed.

Additional Resources:

Forbes: Noble Energy Announces Oil Discovery in the Gulf

Carpe Diem: Drill, Drill, Drill = Jobs, Jobs, Jobs in Pennsylvania

The Street: Shale Oil's Promising Future

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.