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API Taps Democrat as Number Two; Finkel to Head Government Relations Team

Carlton Carroll | 202.682.8114 |

WASHINGTON, April 30, 2014 – The American Petroleum Institute announced today veteran Democratic policy strategist Louis Finkel will lead the oil and natural gas industry association’s government relations efforts, becoming effective May 27.

“Louis brings a unique mix of strategic vision, tactical experience and campaign management to lead our industry’s advocacy efforts at the federal, state and local level,” said API President and CEO Jack Gerard. “This is an important role and we will rely on Louis to guide our outreach on an increasingly organic and local level, participating in conversations and advocacy in communities and audiences far outside the traditional oil patch.”

As API’s second-in-command, the executive vice president for government relations heads a 64-person staff responsible for federal and state advocacy efforts on behalf of the oil and natural gas industry, including multi-functional teams executing comprehensive policy campaigns, and will direct a grassroots operation of more than 24 million American voters from every state and congressional district.

“I am honored to join the industry leading the energy renaissance currently underway in this country,” said Finkel. “Oil and natural gas companies are an unparalleled engine of economic growth and job creation, and with the right public policies we can do even more to secure Americans’ energy future.”

Finkel currently serves as EVP of Government Affairs for the Grocery Manufacturers Association, where he led two come-from-behind statewide ballot initiatives in California and Washington, saving consumers billions of dollars in increased food costs. And he was one of the architects of the food and beverage industry’s recent collaborations with the White House on combating childhood obesity. Finkel has more than 20 years’ experience leading and directing public policy on energy issues. On Capitol Hill, he was a lead negotiator on the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act and served as chief of staff for the Science and Technology Committee under former Chairman Bart Gordon (D-Tenn.). He has advised oil and natural gas pipeline companies and other industry operators for two D.C. consulting firms.

API represents all segments of America’s oil and natural gas industry. Its more than 600 members produce, process, and distribute most of the nation’s energy. The industry also supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy.