Posted November 4, 2014
Even before Americans went to the polls Tuesday, it’s clear American-made energy is this year’s winner. You could see it in pre-election public opinion surveying showing overwhelming support for increased production of domestic oil and natural gas as a job creator (90 percent), a national priority (87 percent) and as a boon to consumers (79 percent).
Regardless of who wins the most seats in Congress, the nation’s leaders should view policy choices with the knowledge that Americans strongly believe the ongoing U.S. energy revolution is a catalyst for individual prosperity, overall economic growth and national security. API President and CEO Jack Gerard, in a guest post for The Hill:
It may take weeks and a few run-off elections to determine control of Congress. But the American people have already given the House and Senate a clear mandate: create jobs, boost the economy and advance America’s energy security through commonsense energy policies.
Here’s how we know this is true: As you look across the expanse of America, represented in the different state contests for the U.S. Senate, there’s broad bipartisan support for U.S. energy (from the candidates or their websites):
Chris Coons, D-Delaware: “America is home to a wealth of untapped energy resources with the power to transform our energy landscape ...”
Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky: “A balanced energy policy which both finds more, and uses less will strengthen our economy, protect our environment, and enhance our national security.”
Gary Peters, D-Michigan: “… we have to protect our public lands, be responsible with our resources, and invest in an all-of-the-above approach to enhancing domestic sources of energy and creating new jobs.”
Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama: “Without increasing the domestic supply of oil & natural gas, America will not be able to meet increasing demand and the resulting high price of gas.”
Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island: “To make America more energy independent while protecting public health and taxpayer dollars, Reed has supported efforts to safely and responsibly increase domestic oil and gas production.”
Susan Collins, R-Maine: “While we need to continue efforts to develop alternative sources of energy and conserve energy, we must also increase our domestic production of oil …”
John Cornyn, R-Texas: “We understand that maximizing domestic energy production will increase the number of American jobs and will hold down prices for consumers and will help make our country safer, the more self-sufficient we are in our own energy supply.”
Shelley Moore Capito, R-West Virginia: “Making use of our energy resources in West Virginia and across America will provide good jobs for our citizens …”
Mike Enzi, R-Wyoming: “Producing more of our energy from domestic sources will help reduce our country’s reliance on foreign sources of oil and protect us from disruptions to the oil supply in unstable areas …”
Bipartisanship extends to the engine of America’s energy renaissance – safe hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, which are unlocking vast oil and natural gas resources found in shale and other tight-rock formations. As a result, the U.S. now is the world’s No. 1 producer of natural gas and is expected to be No. 1 in oil production in the near future. More quotes:
Jim Inhofe, R-Oklahoma: “As I have long said, hydraulic fracturing is a time-tested, safe technology that is absolutely essential to the energy independence of the United States. This method has made way for the oil and natural gas boom in my state of Oklahoma, and as recent reports have shown, states like Oklahoma have led for more than 60 years in ensuring this method is well-monitored and regulated.”
Tom Udall, D-New Mexico: “New Mexico companies have used fracking successfully for decades to access gas reserves that were previously thought out of reach.”
There’s broad support for increased exploration and development, onshore and offshore:
Mark Warner, D-Virginia: “Moving forward on the mid-Atlantic off-shore proposal will provide an opportunity to determine the scope of our region's off-shore energy resources …”
Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee: “By expanding energy research and development to all areas in the Outer Continental Shelf, we will be able to make more of our own energy resources available to power our economy.”
Jim Risch, R-Idaho: “I support expanded drilling for domestic oil to reduce America's dependence on foreign sources especially in the immediate future while we develop these other sources of energy.”
As well as recognition of the benefits provided by significant infrastructure like the Keystone XL pipeline and other projects:
Ben Sasse, R-Nebraska: "One area where over-regulation has been most obvious is the energy sector. The Keystone XL pipeline should have been approved years ago."
Al Franken, D-Minnesota: “There's no question the [Keystone XL] project would create jobs.”
And support for natural gas export projects to strengthen our economy and to help friends overseas:
Jeff Merkley, D-Oregon: [On the Jordan Cove LNG export project in his state]: “It's a huge factor for the economic development of the region.”
Thad Cochran, R-Mississippi: “It makes sense to make our natural gas resources available to support our allies and to strengthen U.S. national security.”
To repeat: Energy is a bipartisan issue, it’s an American issue. In the next Congress and over the next two years there’s tremendous opportunity to move forward with policies that sustain and grow our energy revolution, to strengthen home-growth energy development. Americans have made themselves heard on this point – as is clear from what has been said on the campaign trail this year. Gerard:
Regardless of which party controls Congress after all the votes are counted, legislators should listen to the American people and make smart energy policy a priority. … As the world’s leading natural gas producer and soon-to-be leading oil producer, the United States has the capacity to significantly increase the economic benefits we’re already enjoying from the American energy resurgence. But we must choose the right energy policies.
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.