Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said last week that opening up offshore production of oil and natural gas could create more than 800,000 U.S. jobs and provide some $200 billion in revenue to the federal Treasury.
In his keynote speech last week in Washington, D.C., Gerard referenced these and other statistics in the trade association’s annual State of American Energy report, including a call to revise or repeal regulations that have been put in place by the Obama administration, which he said have stifled the production of the abundant domestic oil and gas resources.
“We must examine the regulatory onslaught of the last few years that has proposed or imposed some 145 new regulations on the oil and gas industry and other executive actions on our industry and instead work to implement smart energy regulations that are focused on the consumer, that help to grow our domestic economy, protect our workers and continue to improve the environment,” Gerard said.
“It is our view that regulations that do not align with those basic and commonsense goals should be reexamined, revised or removed to make way for smarter and forward-looking energy policies,” he said.
“Case in point, today, 94 percent of federal offshore acreage is off limits to energy production,” Gerard said. “Allowing more offshore oil and natural gas production could create more than 800,000 new jobs, grow our economy by up to $70 billion a year and raise more than $200 billion in cumulative revenue for the government treasury.
“Restricted offshore areas could hold more than 50 billion barrels, or more, of oil and more than 195 trillion cubic feet of natural gas,” Gerard said. “Just imagine what the industry could do to further benefit consumers, the economy and the environment if more of that energy were available for responsible and safe domestic production.”
Gerard said the United States is the largest producer of oil, natural gas and refined product in the world and that the federal government itself estimates that by 2040, 60 percent of U.S. energy needs will be provided by oil and gas, “even under optimistic scenarios for renewable energy growth.”
Gerard also said that, according to the federal U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), in the first six months of 2016, carbon emission from electricity generation where at a 25-year low.
“What we know from recent performance is that we no longer have to choose between more energy and a cleaner environment,” Gerard said. “Our nation has dramatically increased energy production and use even as emissions continue to decline.”