As prepared for delivery
Press briefing teleconference on America as global energy leader
Karen Moreau, executive director of New York State Petroleum Council
Monday, February 4, 2013
Good afternoon everyone.
The United States has long been one of the world’s energy leaders, among the most pre-eminent in terms of energy resources, energy technology and energy production.
But over the past half century its dominance in energy was challenged. It became more dependent on other nations’ energy resources and saw its own oil production decline. It became less a force in world energy markets. And the trend going forward looked unpromising given U.S. energy reserves that some said could nowhere near match America’s long range needs.
But in a matter of a few years, the trends have reversed. There is a new energy reality of vast domestic resources of oil and natural gas brought about by advancing technology. They have helped put the U.S. in a position to become a global superpower on energy.
For the first time in generations, we are able to see that our energy supply is no longer limited, foreign and finite; it is American and abundant.
And that puts us well on our way to returning the U.S. to the position of undisputed global leader in energy. If we seize that opportunity now and support it with sound policy decisions on taxes, regulations and access, we can lead on energy for decades and realize the economic and energy security benefits of that leadership.
Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and directional drilling, our accessible energy reserves have grown substantially.
According to recent estimates, we now have a century’s worth of natural gas, perhaps much more, and almost a century’s worth of oil.
And we have begun to step up production of our oil and natural gas resources.
We now produce more natural gas than any nation in the world. We also produce more than six million barrels of oil today, third in the world.
The increases in oil and natural gas production have largely occurred on private and state lands. If we expand access to oil and natural gas energy resources on federal lands and waters, we could move the country close to self-sufficiency, ending our reliance on energy from unreliable or unfriendly suppliers.
The growth in oil and natural gas is not a replacement for renewables. An increase in renewables such as ethanol and other biofuels is part of the equation for achieving self-sufficiency in our liquid fuels, and our industry will continue to invest in these technologies.
One notable thing about America’s energy revolution is how many opportunities there are across the United States, including in New York State where I am from. This is a state where the government is still considering whether it wishes to join the revolution or sit on the sidelines. We could be producing natural gas in substantial amounts in New York. That would create thousands of desperately needed jobs in the state, deliver new revenue to Albany and to local governments, and help promote greater affordability of energy for all New Yorkers.
The global impacts of increased U.S. oil production are also significant. We’ve helped keep world supplies ample. That makes it harder for others to control oil markets. It is also, some analysts suggest, one reason why our sanctions against Iran have worked. We have helped replace lost Iranian supplies and reduced global price volatility.
We also will have a growing ability to export energy – and perhaps to become a net energy exporter. If we can export some natural gas to Europe and to Japan and other Asian nations, we strengthen our relationships and influence in those places – and perhaps reduce the influence of other producers such as Russia.
The world is watching what we do. And our leaders in government need to take a close look as well. That is why we have launched our campaign “Investing in America’s Future.” As part of this campaign, we have activated our 10 million strong grassroots network (and growing).
We are meeting with leaders in Congress and the administration and with state officials. We’re advertising and driving the discussion around the country through town meetings, rallies, editorial visits, and a large engagement through social and traditional media.
We are at a crossroads in our nation’s energy history. We have the ability to produce more, strengthen our economy, and perhaps realign the energy axis toward the west with America leading the way. It’s an opportunity our nation and our state must not allow to pass by.