The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry


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Tariffs and quotas on imported steel imposed by the Trump administration are self-inflicted potholes on the path to the administration’s goal of U.S. “energy dominance.”

They’re bad for American energy, which uses steel throughout its operations and delivery networks. They’re bad for American manufacturing, they’re bad for American consumers, and they’re bad for America.

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Barely four weeks ago, we highlighted the many ways in which responsible, well-regulated natural gas and oil development is benefiting life in Colorado — protecting the environment and public health and creating jobs and opportunity while providing significant support for public services including the state’s education system. Now, an anti-development group is attempting to dismantle Colorado’s progress.

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When talking about the nuts-and-bolts of policy, it’s easy to lose sight of the real-world impacts of various regulatory choices. In Pennsylvania, where Gov. Tom Wolf continues to press for higher taxes on the commonwealth’s natural gas producers, the benefits of existing impact taxes on producers shouldn’t be overlooked.

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ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Darren Woods and Chevron Chairman and CEO Michael Wirth used the big stage at the World Gas Conference to underscore what we’ve been saying for some time about the administration’s tariffs on imported steel: They work against the U.S. natural gas and oil renaissance.

Woods said the concept of free trade “underpins the competitiveness” of the natural gas and oil industry. Other administration initiatives – Woods mentioned tax reform and regulatory changes – have enhanced the competitiveness of U.S. industry versus global rivals. Tariffs on imported steel could hinder progress by the domestic industry.

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The API Industry Outlook for the second quarter of 2018 is one of the things that’s new at API.  If you follow energy markets, you’ll appreciate an incisive view of the economy at home and abroad as well as markets for crude oil, natural gas and petrochemicals. 

Beyond nice-to-know “macro factors,” here are things to know and understand about trade barriers that could affect economic activity and prices where you work and live.

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We’ve talked at length about the many benefits to opening up a small portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to natural gas and oil development. There can be little doubt about ANWR’s importance to the United States’ long-term energy security.

The point is underscored in a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), analyzing the potential impact of natural gas and oil development in the coastal plain of ANWR. The results reiterate what we’ve been saying all along –  ANWR’s energy potential is incredibly large, and is a key part of a long-term U.S. energy vision.

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Natural gas and oil touch nearly every aspect of life in Colorado – with responsible, well-regulated development that protects the environment and public health creating jobs and opportunity while providing significant support for public services, including the state’s education system. That’s broad message contained in a new report, “Progress and Opportunity,” just released by API.

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Let’s add some needed perspective in the ongoing discussion of U.S. gasoline prices – even as Washington politicians try to exploit them for their own agendas. The latest political play: Senate Democrats want the president to cajole other nations into producing more oil to increase supply in hopes of moderating things at the pump.

Certainly, increasing global crude supply is important, because in the past doing so has put downward pressure on the cost of crude, the No. 1 factor driving gasoline prices.

But, since we’ve seen how much lower and less volatile prices have been the past four years, thanks to the growth of U.S. oil production, wouldn’t it be smarter to encourage greater oil production here at home? Senate Energy Committee Chairwoman Lisa Murkowski

thinks so.

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Washington is known for partisan political skirmishing, so it’s not surprising that a group of Senate Democrats is trying to score political points against this year’s tax reform legislation by suggesting that lowering the corporate income tax rate has been linked to the recent rise in gasoline prices.

Let’s straighten them out on a couple of important things about gasoline prices, which have nothing to do with tax reform.

First, per-barrel costs for crude oil – the No. 1 factor in the cost of producing gasoline and diesel – have risen due to a tighter global oil supply/demand balance and lower inventories compared to last year. Second, with a strong economy, U.S. petroleum demand has run at its highest levels since 2007 and was up by more than 750,000 barrels per day in April, compared with one year ago. Next, as they do every year around Memorial Day, the start of the summer driving season, Americans are traveling more, which could raise demand further. Finally, although gasoline prices have increased recently, they’re still lower than where they were four years ago, largely because of increased domestic oil production.

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Protecting the environment is a core industry value. The environment belongs to everyone, and our companies and their employees are committed to producing natural gas and oil as safely as possible. This commitment includes preserving habitat and looking out for wildlife.

In this 2016 post and this post earlier this year, API colleague Kate Wallace detailed how companies have monitored elk populations in Wyoming and polar bears in Alaska, created artificial reefs off the Gulf Coast, developed pollinator gardens and bee sanctuaries and more. Companies also worked across five western states to create conservation areas for the lesser prairie chicken and preserve habitat for the sage-grouse. Our commitment is backed up by action.

That’s why we’re optimistic a constructive and comprehensive plan can be crafted to take care of the dunes sagebrush lizard in West Texas and southeastern New Mexico while also maintaining critically important natural gas and oil production in the region – which would be unlikely if a new effort to list the lizard as endangered under federal law succeeds.

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