Advancing the U.S. Energy Revolution
Posted January 24, 2019
On a day when the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) published its new Annual Energy Outlook – forecasting that the U.S. will become a net energy exporter next year through 2050, growing natural gas share in fueling electricity and rising liquid natural gas exports – API President and CEO Mike Sommers talked about sustaining and growing the engine of all these trends and more: the U.S. energy revolution.
The reason is simple: Where U.S. energy is and where it could go hinge on extending that revolution – to support economic growth, increase U.S. security in the world and help advance environmental and climate goals.
Sommers’ remarks at the U.S. Energy Association’s State of the Energy Industry Forum outlined the key goals for the American energy sector:
- Supplying reliable, affordable energy to U.S. families and businesses
- Creating jobs that sustain the American middle class
- Producing energy safely and in an environmentally responsible way
“[S]ustaining the American energy revolution is essential. It’s essential for household budgets, U.S. economic growth, and our security. The right steps on energy policy can deliver real, bipartisan progress that benefits policymakers on both sides of the aisle and, most importantly, American families and businesses.”
U.S. energy production just finished a stellar year, with domestic crude oil production breaking the previous output record set in 1970. Sommers said U.S. net petroleum imports last year were the lowest in a half-century. Indeed, EIA’s new forecast says the U.S. will become a net exporter of energy in 2020 and remain a net exporter through 2050 because of large increases in the production of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas plant liquids. EIA’s chart:
“Net imports are down, and so is the influence of OPEC. So is our vulnerability to overseas events. That’s a massive shift in the global balance of energy power, and it makes the United States safer, stronger and more secure.”
At the same time, Sommers noted, the United States leads the world in the reduction of energy-related carbon dioxide emissions since 2000, falling to their lowest level in a generation.
That’s significant progress that our industry can play a big part in continuing. Sommers pointed to a handful of essential policy needs:
- Infrastructure investment that keeps pace with record natural gas and oil production.
- A regulatory approach that provides certainty to natural gas and oil operators, is based on science and consumer concerns and smartly embraces technological advances.
- Significant overhaul of the outdated Renewable Fuel Standard. “It’s past time to protect consumers and fix our broken ethanol policy, to bring it in line with the market realities and technology of 2019,” he said.
- Approval of the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement
- Solutions to negative impacts on industry resulting from the administration’s tariffs and quotas and the trade standoff with China. Sommers:
“[T]he administration’s tariffs and quotas on steel jeopardize U.S. energy leadership. Like countless other industries, our operations rely on specialty steel products that just aren’t available from U.S. producers. Restricting access to critical materials restricts our ability to produce, refine and transport energy. Bottom line: It’s hard to create shovel-ready jobs if you can’t get shovels. Further, the retaliatory tariffs coming from the trade war with China risk shutting U.S. energy products out of one of the fastest growing markets in the world – to the benefit of U.S. competitors like Qatar and Russia. Let’s find a way to address discriminatory trade practices without undercutting U.S. energy leadership.”
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and four grandchildren.
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