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API: Limiting Domestic Energy Production Undermines Environmental Progress


202.682.8114 | press@api.org



WASHINGTON, January 27, 2021 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) today warned limiting domestic energy produced on federal lands and waters would undermine environmental progress, cost American jobs, jeopardize education and conservation funding and shift the U.S. to greater reliance on foreign energy.

“We share President Biden’s goal for addressing climate change, marked by U.S. innovation and powered by American energy and skilled union workers,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said. “Unfortunately, today’s executive action to halt leasing is a step backwards both for our nation’s economic recovery and environmental progress, threatening to cost thousands of jobs and much-needed revenue while increasing emissions by slowing the transition to cleaner fuels."

“With a stroke of a pen, the administration is shifting America’s bright energy future into reverse and setting us on a path toward greater reliance on foreign energy produced with lower environmental standards,” Sommers said. “Limiting domestic energy production is nothing more than an ‘import more oil’ policy that runs counter to our shared goal of emissions reductions and will make it harder for local communities to recover from the pandemic.”

While this move suspends new leasing, this decision appears to be a first step toward a policy of banning natural gas and oil development on federal lands and waters. According to an API analysis, without development on federal lands and waters, coal use would increase by 15 percent and CO2 emissions in the power sector would increase 5.5 percent by 2030. In an Obama-era BOEM report analyzing the effects of offshore leasing restrictions, experts found that America’s greenhouse gas emissions will be little affected and could, in fact, increase slightly in the absence of new offshore leasing. The report cites foreign sources of oil would substitute for reduced American offshore supply, and that production and subsequent transport of foreign oil would emit more GHG emissions.

The API analysis also found that a federal leasing and development ban would cost nearly 1 million American jobs by 2022 and put $9 billion in government revenue at risk. States like New Mexico, where one-third of the state’s public-school funding is supported by natural gas and oil production, would be hit especially hard and lose 62,000 jobs.

API represents all segments of America’s natural gas and oil industry, which supports more than ten million U.S. jobs and is backed by a growing grassroots movement of millions of Americans. Our 600 members produce, process and distribute the majority of the nation’s energy, and participate in API Energy Excellence, which is accelerating environmental and safety progress by fostering new technologies and transparent reporting. API was formed in 1919 as a standards-setting organization and has developed more than 700 standards to enhance operational and environmental safety, efficiency and sustainability.

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