Below are highlights from a statement given by Kyle Isakower, API VP of Regulatory and Economic Policy on the Sonecon study looking at oil and gas industry contributions to state pensions.
“In short, returns on state pension funds from investments in oil and natural gas companies provide strong earnings for public pension retirees, including America’s teachers, fire fighters and police officers, according to the study.”
“We already know that a healthy domestic oil and natural gas industry is good news for jobs and government revenue, and we now know that it also provides stability to the nest eggs that millions of Americans are counting on for a secure retirement. The key takeaway from this study is that during good economic times, or challenging ones, oil and natural gas investments far outperformed other public pension holdings.
“It’s important to remember that the owners of America’s oil and natural gas companies are largely retirees and middle class Americans saving for retirement, according to a separate report by Sonecon. In fact, millions of Americans own stock in oil and natural gas companies. And a large proportion of the benefits of oil and gas company stock ownership go to these middle class Americans.
“If you have a 401k, a mutual fund, or a pension, there’s a good chance you own part of an oil and natural gas company. Together, 97% of oil and gas industry stock is held by public and private pension plans; 401(k)s and IRAs; individual investors; asset management companies; and institutions. By comparison, the officers and board members of US oil and gas companies own less than 3% of total shares.
“Millions of Americans rely on the income and capital growth these companies provide for investments and for their retirement. Policymakers can help keep America’s energy momentum strong in this low price environment by avoiding unnecessary new regulations and by opening access to federal lands and foreign markets. Duplicative regulations and 70s era trade restrictions limit America’s growth as an energy superpower, and that’s exactly what other oil producing nations want.
“For example, new ozone regulations proposed by the Obama administration aren’t necessary because air quality will continue improving as we implement the existing regulations. Yet, as proposed, the new ozone rule could be the most expensive regulations ever imposed on the American public. We urge the administration not to impose stricter, unnecessary standards. We must also enhance LNG exports and repeal the crude exports ban to allow US companies to trade with our allies overseas. And we must approve the Keystone XL pipeline.
“These smart energy polices would help continue our growth as a global energy superpower while creating tens of thousands of good paying jobs and securing strong investment returns for millions of Americans.”
Edited from speech by Claira Lloyd