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API: Alaskan Energy is Vital for Future U.S. Energy Security

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WASHINGTON, September 12, 2019 – Today’s vote to repeal future American energy development in an area of the Alaskan Coastal Plain already designated by Congress for energy development is a step backward for U.S. energy security and detrimental to the Alaskan economy. 

“Affordable energy is good for U.S. consumers and businesses, and we will need domestically-produced oil and natural gas for decades to come to keep our economy and national security strong. Now is not the time to dramatically limit access to U.S. energy resources,” said API’s Vice President of Upstream and Industry Operations Erik Milito. “Today’s House vote ignores the long-term energy demands facing the American economy. It overlooks the advances in technology and environmental stewardship that have enabled America’s oil and natural gas industry to meet those demands across the nation – and for over 50 years in Alaska’s Arctic.

“American families rely on accessible and affordable energy, and more than two-thirds of U.S. energy comes from natural gas and oil. Given the 1002 Area’s great energy potential, this already Congressionally designated area of the Coastal Plain is a valuable energy reserve for the United States’ long-term strategic interests and can be accessed responsibly and safely, offering national energy and security benefits.”

More than 100,000 Alaska jobs are attributable investment and activity by the natural gas and oil industry, representing 32 percent of all Alaska jobs and 35 percent of all Alaska wages. Over $150 billion has been contributed by the natural gas and oil industry to the state of Alaska through royalties and taxes, and the industry provides the largest cash contribution to the Alaska Permanent Fund. These benefits have been produced through an established record of safe and environmentally responsible development that have been recognized for its success in being respectful of Alaska’s wildlife and natural resources, and the communities that depend upon them. Notably, the Coastal Plain provides a key opportunity to develop domestic energy with significant reliance on existing infrastructure, thus reducing the overall cost and environmental footprint of new development.

“The industry has a well-established record of safe and environmentally responsible development of Alaska’s onshore energy resources and supportive of the communities that depend upon those areas,” said Milito. “The fact that the U.S. leads the world in carbon emission reductions and affordable, abundant energy is decades in the making and largely a result of the U.S. energy revolution – made possible through investments by our industry and a responsible approach to domestic access.”

The U.S. Geological Survey estimates the 1002 contains at least 11.6 billion barrels of oil in-place. The International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Outlook 2018’s most aggressive renewables scenario projects that the U.S. will still rely on oil and natural gas to meet over 50% of demand in 2040.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the natural gas and oil industry, which supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API’s more than 600 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, 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 47 million Americans. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization. In its first 100 years, API has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.