Divestment "leave it in the ground" agenda threatens retirees, consumers and economic growth
WASHINGTON, June 6, 2016 – API Vice President of Regulatory and Economic Policy Kyle Isakower made the following remarks in response to the District of Columbia Retirement Board’s decision to divest from oil and natural gas investments:
“Divestment is a tactic of misinformed activists whose ‘leave it in the ground’ agenda is incompatible with job creation, affordable energy for consumers, and economic prosperity.
“Millions of retirees and pension holders depend on income from oil and natural gas investments to live. Government pension fund managers have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure the greatest return for their investors. Divestment from energy stocks is likely to reduce investment returns and is therefore not in agreement with their fiduciary responsibility.
“The United States is the biggest producer of oil and natural gas in the world and at the same time leading the world in reducing carbon emissions. ‘Leave it in the ground’ activists are succumbing to a false choice.
“America’s energy renaissance is helping to reduce costs for American consumers and businesses while lowering our emissions. Competitive forces and industry innovation are driving technological advances and producing clean-burning natural gas that has reduced carbon emissions to near 20-year lows.
“The oil and gas industry is also the leading investor in zero- and low-carbon technologies among all industrial sectors. We can create jobs, provide affordable energy to Americans, and continue to lead in reducing our nation's emissions."
Fossil fuels provide more than 80 percent of the energy Americans use every day, according to the Energy Information Administration. IHS estimated that average U.S. disposable household income was $1337 higher in 2015 given lower home energy costs and other savings brought about by unconventional development. AAA estimates that the American consumer saved, on average, over $550 in 2015 on transportation fuel costs as a result of abundant energy.
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 650 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 30 million Americans.