API Sees Energy Fix for World's Problems


By The Maritime Executive 2017-01-04 16:46:42

American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard released the State of American Energy 2017 report on Wednesday, highlighting a positive future for the industry and its role in alleviating poverty both in the U.S. and globally in his keynote address.

“Pundits are still analyzing the 2016 election, but one thing is certain: Voters want and expect change and, above all, they want results and a renewed focus on finding positive solutions that improve their lives,” he said.  

“In this New Year and at the start of this new Congress we have an opportunity to change the national conversation when it comes to energy policy. We have a once in a generation opportunity to find solutions for many of today’s most pressing issues, including creating middle class jobs, tackling income inequality, ensuring sustained affordable energy for consumers and enhancing our national security. And for all of these goals, and others, the 21st century American energy renaissance offers a solution.

“Many of you have probably heard me and others say it many times, but it bears repeating: The United States is the leading producer of oil, natural gas and refined product in the world. Our nation’s rise to global energy leadership is the result of a 21st century revolution in energy production and refining, which has directly benefited America’s families through lower energy costs,” he said.

“We have helped to disprove, conclusively, the long held assumption that leading the world in the production and refining of oil and natural gas is incompatible with an improving environment,” said Gerard. “America no longer has to choose between more energy and a cleaner environment. The United States has dramatically increased energy production and use even as emissions continue to decline. We now know oil and natural gas are part of the solution.”

Today, many of the planet’s most vulnerable people lack access to clean, affordable and reliable energy. The International Energy Agency estimates that more than 1.2 billion people around the world currently lack access to electricity. Further, 2.6 billion live with inadequate cooking facilities, which lead to, among other things, chronic health issues.

Abundant and affordable American natural gas will be key to providing access to a reliable and cleaner burning fuel to cook their meals and heat their homes, says Gerard.

“A growing world population with a growing demand for energy is why the overwhelming and consistent view of energy experts, economists and government agencies, including the U.S. government’s own Energy Information Administration (EIA), estimates that fossil fuels will continue to form the foundation of the United States’ and the world’s energy needs far into the future.” 

According to EIA projections, oil and natural gas will supply more than 60 percent of U.S. energy needs by 2040, even under optimistic scenarios for renewable energy growth.

Worldwide energy consumption is expected to increase 48 percent by 2040, largely due to expanding economic opportunities in developing nations, and more than three-quarters, 78 percent, will be met by fossil fuels.

“Today, roughly 94 percent of federal offshore acreage is off limits to energy production. Allowing more offshore oil and natural gas production could create more than 800,000 new jobs, grow our economy by up to $70 billion per year and raise more than $200 billion in cumulative revenue for the government treasury. Restricted offshore areas could hold 50 billion barrels, or more, of oil and more than 195 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

“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.”

The report is available here.

The opinions expressed herein are the author's and not necessarily those of The Maritime Executive.