Posted October 16, 2014
Early in a panel discussion of energy policy and politics hosted by Real Clear Politics, the question was asked whether U.S. voters pay much attention to energy issues in an election year. RCP tweeted panelist/Wall Street Journal energy reporter Amy Harder’s response:
Certainly, that’s generally been an accurate analysis. Less than a decade ago energy issues were challenging for U.S. policymakers staring at flat or declining domestic oil and natural gas production.
But the U.S. energy picture has been dramatically altered by surging production here at home – an energy revolution made possible by advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling and vast resources in shale and other tight-rock formations. Result: Good news in the absence of challenging energy developments – for U.S. consumers (if not for hosts of events on the intersection of energy and politics).
The impacts of the American energy renaissance are being seen in late-breaking news from global markets – declining crude oil costs, the local effects of which surely haven’t gone unnoticed by consumers. The energy revolution is real, and it is having broad impact. Ben Casselman at FiveThirtyEight.com writes:
The fracking-driven surge in U.S. oil production has provided the world with an unexpected new supply of oil at a time when weak economic growth is cutting into demand. … Whatever happens in the short term, the recent decline in prices provides evidence the U.S. oil boom is affecting global markets more than experts sometimes acknowledge.
We’re glad to be the facilitators of good news. America’s oil and natural gas industry is pursuing safe and responsible energy development – and in the process is creating jobs, stimulating the economy, strengthening U.S. energy security by reducing imports and, as we’re seeing, impacting global markets to the benefit of consumers.
The key point going forward is locking in an all-of-the-above energy strategy that helps sustain and grow the energy revolution. The upcoming midterm elections represent an opportunity for Americans to choose candidates who will act to keep America energy strong. API President and CEO Jack Gerard at the RCP event:
“What we’re trying to do at API … is to really elevate the discourse surrounding the issue of energy. … If we look today from an oil and natural gas perspective, we’re experiencing an energy renaissance that none of us would have thought possible just a few years ago. And yet it’s real, it impacts job creation, it impacts economic recovery, it impacts our global competitiveness and our energy security.”
Some of the takeaway points from the RCP event’s two panels:
- If Republicans gain control of the U.S. Senate there will be action on the long-delayed Keystone XL pipeline, putting the issue unavoidably in President Obama’s court – RCP’s Sean Trende.
- Even if the Senate goes to the GOP, not much will happen on energy issues because the new Republican majority won’t be filibuster-proof – The Huffington Post’s Kate Sheppard.
- Potential new regulations from EPA could cause industries to shift jobs overseas – E&ETV’s Monica Trauzzi.
- There is no technological “fix” on hydraulic fracturing that will allow environmentalists to embrace fracking and increased natural gas production and use – Oil & Gas Journal’s Nick Snow.
- The environmental movement has moved even further to the political left on hydraulic fracturing – Wall Street Journal’s Amy Harder
- Policies to reduce emissions will be incremental – Platts Energy Week’s Bill Loveless
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.