State of American Energy 2020
Posted January 8, 2020
The U.S. is the global leader in energy production, carbon emissions reductions and environmental performance. In 2020, the State of American Energy is one of leadership in natural gas and oil development and ongoing progress toward global climate solutions.
For decades, U.S. energy policy has focused on reducing our dependence on foreign natural gas and oil – the outlook was often defined by scarcity, rather than abundance. Each of our last seven presidents understood that clean, affordable and reliable American energy is essential to both economic growth and national security. And today, our nation has achieved this hard-fought, bipartisan goal.
This was the overarching message of the State of American Energy event in Washington, D.C., where API unveiled its latest advocacy campaign – Energy for Progress – focused on establishing a shared vision for a brighter energy future.
In the keynote address, API President and CEO Mike Sommers emphasized that the benefits of American energy progress are felt be everyone – in Colorado and New Mexico, Ohio and Pennsylvania, and with our trading partners across the globe:
“U.S. energy leadership offers stability in chaotic times and insulates America from hostile and unreliable suppliers of energy. The global benefits of American natural gas and oil on the international stage are compelling. But if you want to know the value of stenergy leadership in 2020, you also must zoom in to see its benefits here at home. They’re on display from the smallest American communities to our biggest cities. American energy is powering the lives of people across our nation.”
API’s annual report – “This is Energy Progress” – tells the story of seven communities that have felt the positive impacts of the U.S. shale revolution. With decreased household energy costs, increased investment in infrastructure projects and expanded opportunities for skilled tradespeople, domestic energy abundance is an economic asset for millions of Americans. Sommers remarked:
“Natural gas and oil help explain why, in parts of America that haven’t seen job growth for decades, you’ll now find a vibrant manufacturing base…and more tax revenue for schools, police, public works, conservation, and everything else that powers modern life.”
The event also included a panel discussion featuring Terry O’Sullivan, General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America; Karen Kerrigan, President and CEO of the Small Business and Entrepreneurship Council; Leslie Beyer, President of the Petroleum Equipment and Services Association; and Mike Rowe, former host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. Among other topics, the experts discussed the state of the energy workforce and the need for sensible policymaking on trade and infrastructure. Mike Rowe stated, plainly:
“Energy is always in the room...Every single American is relying on it.”
Still, there are those intent on halting U.S. energy development – offering unrealistic policy proposals that promise to ban state-of-the-art techniques, like hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, or permanently restrict natural gas and oil production on federal lands. These agenda-driven positions all but assure a retreat from our decades-long advance toward energy security and economic prosperity. Sommers explained:
“At the extreme, we hear promises on the 2020 campaign trail to ban fracking, nationwide and forever. Here’s a glimpse at that vision: Millions of jobs lost, a spike in household energy costs, a manufacturing downturn and less energy security. In the short run, a fracking ban in America would quickly invite a global recession. You don’t abolish the most dynamic asset of the world’s leading energy supplier without severe consequences.”
But the lawmakers and presidential contenders presenting these positions on fracking, energy infrastructure, and federal and offshore leases offer false choices when comprehensive and common-sense solutions are within reach. Simply put, the U.S. doesn’t have choose between energy abundance and environmental progress. By advocating for smart policies that advance industry-led innovations, we can continue to expand the economy, supply affordable natural gas and oil to consumers and drive down emissions of carbon dioxide. Sommers noted:
“Bold and achievable action on climate change at the global level is essential, and America’s natural gas and oil industry is committed to innovation and leadership to make these ambitions more than just hopes and dreams. We support legislation to encourage wider use of carbon-capture, utilization, and storage technology—a breakthrough based on American ingenuity.”
In 2020, this industry – and our nation – finds itself at a defining moment. As the global demand for energy rises and actions to combat climate change intensify, America’s natural gas and oil industry is poised to tackle this dual challenge and create a better, brighter future for all. This is the State of American Energy. This is energy for progress.
About The Author
Sam Winstel is a writer for the American Petroleum Institute. He comes to API from Edelman, where he supported communications marketing strategies for clients across the firm’s energy and federal government practices. Originally from Dallas, Texas, Sam graduated from Davidson College in North Carolina, and he currently resides in Washington, D.C.
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