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API: Energy exports magnify U.S. economic and diplomatic strength

Zachary Cikanek | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, August 6, 2014 ─ This morning’s trade report from the U.S. Department of Commerce shows American energy exports are revitalizing the economy and shifting the balance of power around the world, said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

“Domestic oil and natural gas production helped drive record exports last year, and our ability to impact global markets continues to grow,” said Felmy. “But America’s potential as an energy superpower remains limited by outdated trade restrictions that prevent more U.S. oil and natural gas from reaching global markets. Lifting these barriers will mean more jobs and a more powerful position – both economically and diplomatically.

“Already, innovations in hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling have allowed U.S. energy exports to put a major dent in the trade deficit. Today’s reports shows that exports of crude oil and petroleum products are up more than $1.2 billion from the same month last year, to $12.7 billion. For the year to date, the total trade deficit for crude oil and petroleum products is down $20.4 billion from the same period last year.

“If policymakers act now to allow free trade, U.S. energy exports can further reduce the impact of unrest overseas and limit the influence of foreign suppliers that dominate other markets. And studies show that American crude oil exports will promote higher energy production and put downward pressure on prices for consumers.

“By acting now, we can send a major signal to world markets that competitors overseas cannot ignore. Congress and the administration must act quickly to accelerate Department of Energy approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects and lift 70’s-era restrictions on crude oil exports.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 580 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation’s energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.