As prepared for delivery
Press briefing teleconference on Energy Works
Jack Gerard, API president and CEO
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Good afternoon everyone. Thanks for calling in.
API has launched a new public information campaign called “Energy Works” to provide some facts about America’s oil and natural gas industry and its employees. The initiative features a new website that uses videos to tell the story of the industry’s workers and the communities in which they live. The website also contains data on the number and types of jobs in the industry. And there are even some tools to help people apply for industry jobs.
We will be promoting Energy Works to policymakers and the public through our ongoing work to raise energy literacy here in D.C. and in the states. The launch includes print and online advertising.
The website is now live at www.americanenergyworks.org.
The oil and natural gas industry has been a major job creator at a time when overall U.S. job creation has stagnated. It has created thousands of jobs while other industries have been losing jobs or, at best, holding steady.
Since the recession began, the oil and natural gas industry has grown by more than 86,000 jobs. In contrast, the economy as a whole has lost five million, according to numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The U.S. jobs performance of America’s oil and natural gas industry reflects its commitment to investing in domestic prospects and its technological prowess in finding and producing energy in new or challenging locations.
The Progressive Policy Institute recently recognized several oil and natural gas companies as “Investment Heroes” for making multi-billion dollar, job-creating investments here at home. Five of the top twelve companies were oil and natural gas companies.
This is all good news for America’s workers. Yet, not everyone is encouraged by the opportunities we’re providing. As part of its “beyond” fossil fuels campaign – beyond coal, beyond oil, beyond natural gas – the Sierra Club says there’s no place for oil or gas in America’s future. It says we can stop using oil “right now.”
If this campaign is “beyond” anything, it is beyond sense. It would put a halt to producing at home much of the energy that everyone, including the administration, understands oil and natural gas will have to provide in the decades ahead – even allowing for significant increases in renewable energy.
It would put a halt to the creation of jobs that have been a lifeline to thousands of working Americans. It would hurt people who need work and those looking for new opportunities.
Our industry is going to continue investing in America. And it’s going to continue to support common sense energy policies that encourage development all of our nation’s energy resources. That’s the only way we’ll be able to meet our future energy needs, supply affordable energy to our economy, and put people back to work.
Our industry now supports 9.2 million jobs and 7.7 percent of the economy. Merrill Lynch just issued a study documenting the extensive benefits the industry provides to America’s economy and to consumers who are now saving more than one-half billion dollars a day in energy costs.
We want to keep this engine of growth going, and we’re going to continue to work with Congress to foster policies that support it. Later this week, we’ll be sending Congress a letter outlining what we believe needs to be done.
We see a strong role for oil and natural gas to get our economy growing again. With Energy Works, we’re helping to educate the nation about what we can do.
Thanks. And now I’d be happy to take your questions.