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API President Criticizes Keystone, Over-Regulation

Keystone protesters
Keystone XL pipeline protesters

By MarEx 2016-01-05 17:16:17

American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard delivered the keynote address at API’s Sixth Annual State of American Energy event on Tuesday, releasing the State of American Energy 2016 report and highlighting the energy issues that will shape America’s economic and political news this year.

Demonizing Keystone

Gerard was critical of the U.S. President Barack Obama’s halting of the Keystone XL pipeline project saying it was the result of a dangerous combination of outdated policies and anti-fossil fuel political ideology and that it discourages American companies from investing in tomorrow’s pipelines, marine terminals and other energy infrastructure projects. 

“Emboldened by their ability to stop the Keystone XL pipeline, anti-fossil fuel advocates have set their sights on all energy infrastructure projects. Their arguments against this energy infrastructure project were not based on its economic merits or true environmental impact. 

“And the decision to reject the pipeline simply ignores the pipeline’s many benefits, including strengthened ties to one of our closest allies, Canada, the creation of thousands of well-paying jobs, the generation of millions in local, state and federal tax revenues and the reductions in greenhouse gas emissions in developing Canadian oil sands that have been achieved to date. 

“Keystone is a good example of how facts can be stubborn things that take little heed of political ideology or preconceived notions. In this case the stated reason for denying the pipeline – environmental protection –was contradicted by the State Department that concluded, after seven long years and five comprehensive reports, that denial of the pipeline would increase carbon emissions by some 42 percent due to an increase in truck, rail and barge traffic needed to transport the oil sands to Gulf Coast oil refiners. 

“The demonization of the Keystone XL pipeline remains a powerful cautionary tale of the dangers of energy policy driven by ideology rather than economic reality and has a chilling effect on expansion efforts for our nation’s energy infrastructure. That’s not just bad national energy policy. It is also bad news for our nation’s economy.”

The Year Ahead

The United States begins this new year leading the world in energy production, economic growth, and lowering our greenhouse gas emissions – a trifecta unmatched by any other country today, said Gerard. “The gains we’ve made and our ability to sustain them in the years to come are largely dependent on the energy policies we pursue.

“Fortunately, we know how to bring about America’s brighter energy future, which means lower costs for American consumers, a cleaner environment and American energy leadership, because it is today’s reality. We call it the U.S. model.

“As the president’s last full year in office begins, we hope that he will take note of and help foster the U.S. model. We hope that he’ll see that over-regulation – nearly 100 regulations and counting on the oil and natural gas industry – hinders rather than advances what he hopes to be one of his administration’s defining legacies, environmental improvement.

“While the outcome of November’s elections is far from clear, it is certain that no matter who becomes the 45th president of the United States, he or she will lead a nation that is first in oil and natural gas production, first in refining ever-cleaner fuel and first in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“Our goal is to keep the positive momentum of the last few years and to end the politicization of energy for petty partisan ends. We want to continue the national energy policy discussion and stay above the partisan fray, and immune from the misinformation campaign deployed by fervid critics of fossil fuels.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and eight percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 650 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. API says they provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 30 million Americans.

The full address is available here.

The report is available here.