The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Made in America: Increase Access for Secure Energy Future

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 21, 2012

American-made energy. With the Energy Information Administration projecting that the United States will need more than 16 percent additional energy by 2035, the idea that we could, before then, see 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs met domestically and from Canada is huge. Make that gigantic.

Increased access to American energy resources is the key. API’s recent report to the two political parties’ platform committees marks the way – offshore:

  • Open the eastern Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas exploration and development
  • Open the Atlantic Outer Continental Shelf
  • Open the Pacific Outer Continental Shelf

And onshore:

  • Open the 1002 Area within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska
  • Open portions of the Rocky Mountains
  • Lift New York state’s drilling moratorium
  • Promote timely review of energy projects on federal land

No question, it will take some significant policy changes to unlock these ample supplies. Offshore, for example, 87 percent of federal acreage remains off limits. In the chart below the areas in red are closed to energy exploration and development. We need new policies to open them, to begin to make available nearly 101 billion barrels of oil and 480 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

87 percent federal offshore acreage

Onshore, the story on federal lands is similar. The United States has an estimated 88.6 billion barrels of oil and 654.3 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to the Bureau of Land Management. Yet 60 percent of federal onshore lands are closed to energy development.

Key in this is the small portion of the vast Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) – an airport-sized parcel on the coastal plain of a refuge that’s the size of South Carolina. ANWR could provide about 1 million barrels of oil per day, oil that would be available today if it weren’t for opponents who argued, in part, that it would take 10 years to bring ANWR oil online – 10 years ago!

A commitment to increased access is key to an energy future that’s secure – again, one where 100 percent of our liquid fuels come from North American sources:

Enhance Energy Security

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.