Below are highlights from a speech given by API President and CEO Jack Gerard at Texas Southern University.
“Today, the US is first in natural gas production, petroleum refining, and soon to be the number one producer of crude oil as early as this year, with some projecting we are already there. We have surpassed all expectations and achieved a level of domestic energy production that was unthinkable even five years ago. Making our nation a global energy leader and in spite of recent headlines of layoffs within the oil and natural gas industry, North American energy production is expected to increase for many years to come and as a result, so are the number of jobs available within the industry.
“As an example, with one change to US energy policy, lifting the prohibition on crude exports, the oil and natural gas industry within five years could create up to 300 000 jobs, almost 41 000 of them right here in Texas. Already, this new era of energy abundance has not only set production and refining records it has also added 600 000 jobs between 2009 and 2011 to the nation’s economy at a time when it was needed the most.”
“It has also added significantly to global energy supply leading to reduced prices benefitting consumers. According to a Goldman Sachs economic analysis, the 60% drop in the price of a gallon of gas by the end of 2014 had the equivalent economic impact on the US’ economy of a one time tax cut of between US$100 billion and US$125 billion. Another study estimates that for every 1 cent drop in the retail price of gasoline for a year, American consumers save US$1.2 billion.
“On the economic front, America’s oil and natural gas industry supports approximately US$1.2 trillion in US GDP and provides US$85 million a day to the federal governments in the form of royalties, bonuses paid at lease sales and taxes. And the industry supports 9.8 million jobs, 5.6% of total US employment.
All hands on deck
“It will be up to the next generation of Americans, your generation, to expand and maintain our nation’s energy abundance and global energy leadership. It its up to my generation to make sure that you have skills, knowledge and information needed to make the most of that opportunity.”
“Sustaining our nation’s energy renaissance requires an all hands on deck approach to recruitment and retention of the next generation of oil and natural gas workers. And that means we’ll need higher levels of participation by women and minorities. We are at an inflexion point when it comes to the oil and natural gas workforce. According to an industry survey, 71% of the oil workforce is 50 years of age or older. And in the next 7 – 10 years the industry will undergo a crew change, when roughly half of the industry’s current technical personnel are expected to retire. Bottom line, if nothing changes we simply will not have enough qualified candidates for the jobs we expect to create in the coming years.”
“In the past decade or so, the US has slipped relative to other developed nations when it comes to producing college graduates with degrees in science and engineering. According to the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US ranks 27 out of 34 developed nations in the proportion of college students receiving undergraduate degrees in science or engineering.”
“Bottom line, we need to increase the number of STEM graduates to ensure that we have a workforce capable of continuing America’s 21st century energy renaissance and global energy leadership.”
“No matter what career you choose, I urge you to remain a part of our nation’s energy discussion. Because just as our industry will be able to achieve even more for our nation’s economy and communities, our nation’s energy discussion needs to hear from all regions of our nation and demographic groups if we are to come to an American consensus that sustains our position as a global energy leader. Too often the conversation is dominated by the shrill and ill informed whose contributions to the conversation do little to educate and much to misinform. I ask that you listen to the facts when it comes to energy policy discussion and focus on what’s important: American jobs, American energy security and American global energy leadership.”
“Today we have to answer a very fundamental question: Do we move forward and build upon our nation’s new era of energy abundance or do we go back to last century’s reality of energy scarcity and dependence?
“It is one of the most important national discussions of our time and as such should be fact based because energy policy is too important to be merely another partisan and ill informed talking point. If we are to continue our nation’s current positive energy production trends and environmental gains, we must demand that those who act on our behalf, at all levels of government, implement energy policies based on current market conditions and our potential as an energy leader.”
“The oil and natural gas industry’s goal is to keep the energy policy discussion fact based and forward looking and focused on the future of American energy abundance. Ultimately we want to create an American consensus on energy policy that will allow our nation to take full advantage of its bright energy future.”
Edited from speech by Claira Lloyd