U.S. Presidential Candidates Asked About Oil
The American Petroleum Institute (API) has urged candidates at the upcoming presidential debates to outline their vision for harnessing the economic and national security opportunities created by America’s energy revolution.
“We can pursue an American future of energy abundance, self-determination and global leadership or take a step back to an era of scarcity, dependence and uncertainty,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “We’re calling on candidates – Republican and Democrat alike – to share with voters their vision for harnessing this American energy moment.
“Make no mistake – America’s role as an energy superpower is not ensured. We’ve seen the mission creep of federal agencies on full display under this administration. Thousands of pages of new roadblocks and mandates are making their way through the regulatory pipeline.
“We cannot afford for our next president to be blinded to the opportunities in front of us by a stale mindset of ‘70s-era scarcity. That is why those who seek to represent us must go beyond the talking points and outline a clear vision for energy that will advance our nation’s economy, security and standard of living.”
The Energy Trade
This week’s mid-year trade report from the U.S. Commerce Department shows that the oil and natural gas industry continues to drive U.S. economic gains in 2015, a trend that could accelerate under free trade policies, said API Chief Economist John Felmy.
“Despite a very competitive global market, the U.S. energy revolution continues to push our trade balance in a positive direction,” said Felmy. “Oil imports remain on the decline, and strong exports of petroleum and refined products are creating new opportunities for America to bring wealth and jobs back to U.S. shores.”
The total U.S. trade deficit peaked at $762 billion in 2006, prior to the surge in U.S. oil and natural gas production. By 2014, it had dropped to $508 billion. The latest report, covering trade data through June 2015, shows that the U.S. trade deficit among petroleum and petroleum products fell by 56.1 percent compared to the first six months of 2014.
That growth helped to hold the total U.S. year-over-year trade balance steady, despite a 23.1 percent increase in the trade deficit among non-petroleum products. Due to low commodity prices, the value of U.S. petroleum and petroleum product exports fell by $20.2 billion, despite high export volumes, but petroleum-related imports fell faster, down $78.6 billion compared to the first six months of 2014.
“Outdated trade policies are among the biggest threats to America’s continued growth right now,” said Felmy. “Accelerating approval of LNG export terminals and lifting the 1970s era ban on crude oil exports would put America in the driver’s seat on trade. America is now the world’s largest producer of natural gas, providing our workers an important competitive advantage in the global market. And study after study shows that lifting the ban on crude exports will mean more jobs, downward pressure on fuel costs and could reduce the power that foreign suppliers have over our allies overseas.
“Strong, bipartisan legislation to accelerate America’s growth as an energy superpower is now making its way through both chambers of Congress. We urge members of the House and Senate to make free trade in energy a top priority when they return from their August recess.”
The next United States presidential election of 2016 is expected to be held in November 2016.