The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Policies For An Energy Future

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted January 24, 2012

News this week of increased domestic oil and natural gas production is welcome indeed – because increased production means jobs, economic growth and greater energy security for America.

That the president is calling for more American oil and natural gas, while acknowledging that the hard-working men and women of the oil and gas industry are helping lead our economic recovery is great, too. Thanks, Mr. President, for recognizing that this industry can create jobs and produce the energy to fuel our economy, while building a base for manufacturing and other industries.

Now we need policies to take us where we need to go. Increasing access – reversing recent trends on federal lands and offshore – is critical to more economic growth and a more secure energy future. API President and CEO Jack Gerard:

“We welcome this change of course.  We know our industry can put Americans to work.  We’ve been doing so.  We’re part of the solution he’s looking for. We need changes in policy that will open much more of our offshore areas to leasing and permitting, that will speed up leasing and permitting in all federal areas, and that will restrain impractical or duplicative regulations.”

Here’s what we need:

  • A pro-energy development strategy for the future, following up on past investments that now are yielding the production gains noted in government data, that could create more than 1 million U.S. jobs by 2030.
  • A change in course in current policies – including those governing onshore and offshore leasing and offshore drilling – that are restraining energy development instead of boosting it.
  • Real support for the production of natural gas and oil through hydraulic fracturing that already has touched off an energy and economic revolution in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and other states. Specifically: presidential action to end what Gerard called a “chilling effect” on investment and development resulting from eight different federal agencies exploring new regulatory regimes.
  • A decision not to hamstring an industry that contributed $476 billion to the economy in 2010 with new tax increases – increases that hurt pensioners, individual investors and owners of mutual funds and IRAs, the true owners of America’s oil companies.

Increases in domestic oil and natural gas should be celebrated. The data shows where we are and suggests where we could be with the right policies and leadership. Gerard:

“The administration has an opportunity to turn energy policy in a direction that could provide huge benefits to our economy.  And if the president is sincere in this, our industry will work very hard with him to make it happen.”

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.