The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Path Turns on Infrastructure Needs, Policy Choices

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted May 21, 2015

Pipeline Lack Hurts Energy Production

Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Weinstein): Thanks to what’s sometimes called the “shale revolution,” America has re-emerged as an energy superpower.

Even with prices 40 percent lower than a year ago, we remain the world’s No. 1 producer of crude oil and other liquid hydrocarbons. Imports of oil have dropped from 60 percent of consumption to about 35 percent just in the past five years. We’re also the world’s largest producer of natural gas.

Both our oil and natural gas output would be even higher if not for regulatory and infrastructure constraints.

For example, crude oil exports have been virtually prohibited by law for more than 40 years while federal regulatory agencies have been slow to issue permits for the export of liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Drilling for oil and gas on the outer continental shelf and federal lands is largely prohibited, while several states and local governments have imposed bans on hydraulic fracturing.

The Jones Act, which requires all goods shipped between U.S. ports be carried on American-built, owned and operated vessels, makes it more expensive to ship petroleum products from Corpus Christi to New Jersey than from Corpus Christi to Rotterdam.

But the most serious nonregulatory constraint on expansion of America’s oil and gas production — other than low prices — is a lack of pipeline capacity, both upstream and downstream.

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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.