President Obama’s remarks about oil and natural gas in his 2015 State of the Union address fell short of acknowledging the true impact of the energy renaissance on the US economy, said the American Petroleum Institute’s President and CEO Jack Gerard.
“America’s energy renaissance has profoundly strengthened our economy and is helping the President fulfill many of his policy goals,” said Gerard. “But his speech did not even begin to tell the whole story.
“America is now a global energy superpower thanks to our oil and natural gas renaissance, but most of this development has occurred in spite of the federal government. Development on the federal lands under control of the administration has actually gone down consistently, and revenues from leasing also fell by over US$1 billion in the last year.
“America's oil and natural gas companies are largely owned by retirees and workers saving for retirement. In a tough economy, our energy renaissance has been a lifeline for the middle class.
“The President can reduce income inequality by committing to America’s oil and natural gas renaissance for the long-term. Our increased production in recent years has created millions of jobs and saved the average US household US$1200 in 2012, and we pay an average salary seven times higher than the minimum wage.
“The private sector could invest more than US$1 trillion in oil and gas infrastructure here in the US by 2025. But, as we’ve seen with the political delays over the Keystone XL pipeline, our government is often the biggest obstacle to private investment in our economy. The government is standing in the way of jobs, economic growth, and America’s competitiveness.
“Oil and natural gas companies are leading the way to cut emissions without new and costly regulations that could actually complicate existing regulations. US carbon emissions are close to 20-year lows thanks largely to natural gas, and methane emissions from hydraulic fracturing have fallen by 73% since 2011, according to the government’s own data. These reductions are expected to continue.”
Adapted from press release by Rosalie Starling