Posted April 13, 2016
There’s a candidate in the 2016 campaign that’s a true unifier, a candidate reflecting the views of an overwhelming number of Americans and one that’s capable of being a sturdy bridge between Washington’s partisan interests:
As the 2016 general election campaign season approaches, API this week unveiled its energy policy recommendations for the platform-writing committees of the Democratic and Republican parties. More on these below.
First, let’s focus on the United States’ current energy reality and the once-in-a-generation opportunity the U.S. energy revolution is providing for security and prosperity, which API President and CEO Jack Gerard described as the context for industry’s platform report during a briefing and discussion event in Washington:
“As the two political parties look to put this exceptionally raucous and long primary season behind them and to unify their parties behind a slate of candidates and party platforms, we want to remind them of the bipartisan nature and foundational role of our candidate: Energy, particularly oil and natural gas, which makes our modern society possible and provides our quality of life. We want to remind candidates from both parties that energy policy remains one of the few issues that can bridge the ideological gap between Democrats and Republicans.”
Gerard underscored the critical need to put the right policies in place, to sustain and extend the progress America has made thanks to surging energy production here at home – mainly the result of oil and natural gas safely developed with hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. He said advanced technologies have led to an 88 percent increase in crude oil production and a 48 percent increase in natural gas output since 2005 …
… which have made the United States the world’s leading producer of oil and gas:
“As a result of America’s 21st century energy revolution, our nation is more energy secure, energy costs for consumers are lower and our nation has the ability to show the world how energy abundance can be used as a positive force rather than a political and economic threat.”
These benefits, this progress, certainly aren’t unnoticed by Americans, who are bipartisan in their support for more domestic energy production, as well as in their support for candidates who favor producing more oil and gas here at home.
The energy revolution also has brought climate progress. Gerard:
“America’s emergence as a global energy leader has not come at the expense of the environment; in fact, the opposite is true. Today, our nation’s carbon emissions are near 20-year lows, thanks in large part to the continued commitment and substantial financial investment in environmental protection technology of the oil and natural gas industry. For example, between 1990 and 2014, U.S. refiners spent $154.4 billion on environmental protection technology, which has led to cleaner burning fuels that reduce the emission of criteria air pollutants.”
Industry’s election-year message is one of opportunity and a call for leadership – opportunity to simultaneously add to U.S. economic and environmental progress, and leadership by elected officials on energy policies and approaches that will foster safe development going forward. Gerard:
“Our ask of the candidates from both political parties they represent is simple: Join us. Join in the 21st century energy revolution, not to further partisan goals, or political power but to ensure that our nation never again experiences energy dependence, scarcity or uncertainty. Work with the oil and natural gas industry to ensure that the progress we’ve been able to make through private sector investment, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, continues for generations to come.”
API’s platform report to the political parties focuses on four areas:
- Setting policies that recognize America’s energy reality, today and tomorrow, basing them on sound science and economics.
- Embracing U.S. energy abundance, protecting the progress made and avoiding a retreat to decades of insecurity and scarcity.
- Insisting that governmental regulatory systems avoid unnecessary, duplicative rules that unduly burden energy development and distribution (infrastructure).
- Acknowledging that private innovation and investment, in cooperation with government at all levels, is the best way to achieve energy and environmental goals – not government mandates.
Gerard said a true all-of-the-above energy approach, collaborative in its formation, is key to growing the economy, creating jobs and ensuring the United States’ energy and national security. Gerard:
“There is no denying the fact that energy, specifically fossil fuels, is fundamental to our society. Like other fundamental elements of our society, we should strive to work together and to find areas of agreement where we can advance what I believe is our shared desired: to leave our nation and world better than we found it. Because all energy sources have a role to play to help satisfy our nation’s ever-growing energy needs. Because the reality is that no single source of energy will alone solve our problem or meet our energy needs. Our fundamental message is that the American people deserve an energy policy that cements our nation’s place as a global energy leader and ensure that American consumers continue to enjoy the benefits of abundant, reliable and affordable energy.”
Below, some of the conversation on Twitter from API’s platform report event:
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.