The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Capitol Hill Event: Energy Boosts American Life

Mark Green

Mark Green
Posted September 13, 2017

A special thanks to U.S. Rep. Gene Green of Texas, who shared some thoughts about energy production associated with his Houston-area congressional district, as well as an update on recovery efforts there after Hurricane Harvey, during an API Capitol Hill communicators event on Wednesday.

Green, who was first elected to Congress in 1992, represents a district closely associated with energy production and refining. The congressman said natural gas from the nearby Eagle Ford shale play is boosting the petrochemical industry:

“In our area we would probably be the example of what’s happening with low-cost natural gas coming off the Eagle Ford. The chemical industry in Harris County over the last probably four or five years has just grown dramatically. … Expansions at Exxon, Shell, LyondellBasell – they just announced a big expansion up in the Sheldon area in east Harris County – to the point now that we’re producing a lot of export products, resins, to send other places. The success of Eagle Ford is benefiting the chemical industry literally all up and down from Corpus Christi all the way over into Louisiana.”

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(U.S. Rep. Gene Green, right, with API President and CEO Jack Gerard, left.)

Green said the current Congress is making some headway on issues that are important to industry, such as legislation to standardize cross-border permitting for natural gas pipelines. The ability to permit natural gas pipeline projects in a timely way is important to U.S. energy trade, which supports domestic production and American energy self-sufficiency. Green:

“One thing you need … when you’re trying to move a product, you want certainty on the permitting process. … We have free-trade agreements with Canada and Mexico. Why would we not want to send them our natural gas? … I support the North American energy market, where we have Mexico, Canada and the United States. If we partner together we won’t have to worry about anybody else.”

Green described some of Hurricane Harvey’s impacts in the area he represents, and API President and CEO Jack Gerard, who hosted the event, said a lot of Americans have the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast and Florida in their thoughts after Harvey and Irma. Gerard said the storms’ impacts help underscore the essential quality of accessible, reliable energy:

“I think we’re all seeing in very pronounced ways now in light of the storm … the way [the energy industry] benefits each of us on a day-to-day basis in many different ways. I think you’re also aware of our Power Past Impossible campaign, where we’re doing more educational outreach related to the role of energy in our every-day lives. … You think about natural gas, a lot of times we think about the production side and the refining process. Many times we forget that refining process is what heats our homes, warms our coffee, creates cosmetics, pharmaceuticals – all the things we take for granted every day.”

This photo shows some of the infographic shareables that were distributed at the Capitol Hill event. They were generated for our ongoing Energy and the States blog series that is highlighting the Power Past Impossible point referred to by Gerard – that natural gas and oil enable, empower and improve the lives of Americans every day: 

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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.