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Take the smart approach for electricity grid resiliency, consumers and the U.S. economy

Reid Porter | | 202.682.8114

WASHINGTON, September 29, 2017 – API responded to today’s notice of proposed rulemaking from the Department of Energy requesting the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to implement reforms focused on the reliability and resiliency of America’s electricity grid.

“We support efforts to ensure reliability, and we look forward to fully participating in the rulemaking process to come,” said API Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer Marty Durbin. “However, as we review the proposal we are concerned the agency has mischaracterized the lessons learned from past weather-related events and appears to suggest that additional regulation is the answer where markets have already proven the ability to greatly benefit consumers and give our electric system the flexibility needed to meet constantly, and often rapidly, changing electricity demands.

“Markets play an important role in determining energy sources because markets reward innovation, spur efficiency, lower prices and work to benefit consumers. Over the last decade, competitive forces in natural gas markets have resulted in the shale gas boom currently providing numerous benefits to the nation, driving down prices for American consumers and further increasing the reliability and resiliency of supply.”

Recently, API highlighted the reliability and resilience of natural gas for power generation as the Department of Energy released its staff report on electricity markets and reliability. Total use of natural gas for power generation has experienced a 40 percent increase between 2010 and 2016. Today, natural gas generates 33.8 percent of our nation’s electricity versus 24 percent in 2010. Technological innovation and market forces, without government mandates and subsidies, have allowed natural gas to bring great benefits to consumers – saving households an estimated $1,337 in energy costs in 2015. And the increased use of natural gas for power generation has been a primary driver in reducing carbon emissions in the power sector to near 30-year lows. 

“American consumers, including families and businesses, rely on this affordable and clean-burning fuel to heat their homes, cook food, produce domestic products, and provide electricity,” said Durbin. “We need to be careful that government doesn’t put its thumb on the scale. It’s better to let markets choose, which is what the United States is seeing with the growth of natural gas as the United States’ leading energy source for electricity in 2016.”

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 625 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 40 million Americans.

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