The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Planning for a Better Energy Future

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted August 23, 2012

There’s much to like in the energy plan newly issued by the Romney campaign: Increased domestic oil and natural gas production, a North American energy partnership that features approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, transparency and fairness in federal permitting and regulation. All would boost job creation, help generate revenues for government and work toward making America more energy secure.

Proposals like these acknowledge that we’re an energy-rich nation, one that with the right approach to policy could control its energy future. They contrast with the narrative that America has limited resources and faces a future of rationed opportunity. API President and CEO Jack Gerard:

“Voters understand that we hold the keys to our own energy future. America has been described as the next Middle East in what it has in the form of oil and natural gas. With pro-development policies, we could create millions of new jobs and provide billions of dollars of revenue to our government.”

The right policies could produce more jobs, government revenue and energy, according to analysis by the Wood Mackenzie energy consulting firm. With greater access to domestic resources onshore and offshore and the elimination of unnecessary regulatory hurdles – both reflected in the Romney plan – the United States could see 100 percent of its liquid fuel needs supplied by North American sources by 2024. Once an abstract concept, energy self-sufficiency is within reach.

That this resonates with American voters is seen in a recent poll that showed 7 in 10 support increased access to domestic oil and natural gas resources. More than 70 percent believe doing so will lead to more jobs and economic growth, and similar percentages support more offshore energy development and construction of the full Keystone XL pipeline, which would deliver crude from neighbor and ally Canada to U.S. refineries. Gerard:

"API’s Vote 4 Energy campaign is about encouraging a public conversation on energy this campaign year. The proposals released today by the governor will assist in encouraging that public conversation on how more North American made energy can be an economic game changer.”

With the Republican and Democratic conventions approaching, let’s have a robust national conversation about energy and its unique potential to provide dynamic economic stimulus. “Our industry has been a job creator every month,” Gerard told AOL Energy, “and is literally swimming against the tide of economic downturn.”

The conversation should focus on key points, a number of which are touched on in the Romney plan:

  • Increasing offshore oil and natural gas access by changing current policy that keeps 87 percent of our outer continental shelf acreage on the shelf.
  • Clearing the federal permitting process of unnecessary delay, generating fairness and creating certainty that will help promote energy investment.
  • Letting the states lead in overseeing energy development – including the ongoing revolution in natural gas production from shale.

Certainly, there are big ideas here, some of which have been bogged down by politics for years. But they’re not out of reach – especially if the American public is as engaged as polling and the release of the Romney plan suggest.

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.