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Policy Focus

ENERGY POLICY MATTERS. Sound policies that foster investment allow the United States to fully harness its natural gas and oil potential – keeping America strong at home and around the world.

Sustaining Our Ability to Power Past Impossible

The right policies will sustain and grow the ongoing energy renaissance, making America more secure and prosperous now and in the future. It can be a future where we protect the environment; innovate with new, advanced technologies; grow economically; and manufacture products for everyday living. American energy will continue to enhance the fabric of our communities.

Americans look to the industry and our nation’s leaders to get energy policy right today for a brighter future.

They want a country that is second to none in energy production, energy security and economic growth while protecting the environment – all of which lay a foundation for future Americans to power past the challenges we consider impossible today.

The following pages outline energy policies and outcomes that that are critically important to keep America powering past impossible:

Expand Access to Offshore, Onshore Reserves

Increasing access to federal natural gas and oil reserves, offshore and onshore, is vital to strengthening the economy and our national security, now and in the future. New offshore access could add production of more than a million barrels of oil equivalent per day (see also reference and reference) and generate hundreds of thousands of good-paying jobs and billions of dollars in government revenues. This includes the Eastern Gulf of Mexico and areas off the Atlantic coast and the Alaskan Arctic. Access to federal onshore acreages also should be increased, supported by land management and regulatory policies that foster more natural gas and oil production. Expanded access to American energy will help keep our country secure and prosperous, and a global energy superpower.

Streamline Permitting for Infrastructure

The U.S. needs additional energy infrastructure to connect consumers all across the country with the benefits of surging natural gas and oil production. Increasing certainty, transparency and efficiency in permitting processes for pipelines, gathering lines, storage tanks, compressor stations, ports and other infrastructure will help ensure that American families, businesses and manufacturers fully realize the benefits of the country’s energy abundance. At the same time, building new infrastructure and/or expanding existing facilities could create millions of jobs across a range of industries in all 50 states – good-paying, middle class-sustaining jobs.

Sustain Environmental Progress

The United States leads the world in reducing carbon emissions, and methane emissions from natural gas systems have fallen – even as the U.S. leads the world in producing natural gas, oil and refined products. Meanwhile, ozone concentrations in the air have fallen 17 percent since 2000 with help from increased use of domestic natural gas. The U.S. has proved that significant progress in these areas can occur without sacrificing energy and economic growth.

A commonsense regulatory approach that acknowledges the industry’s technologies and innovations have contributed significantly to reducing emissions and key air pollutants is needed – and that industry, through initiatives such as The Environmental Partnership, is committed to continuous environmental progress through collaboration.

Repeal or Reform the Renewable Fuels Standard

The federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) is a broken program that should be repealed or significantly reformed. The program’s original objective of lowering crude oil imports is being accomplished by increased domestic oil production. The program’s mandates for increasing ethanol use in the nation’s fuel supply could potentially damage vehicle engines as well as consumer items. About three out of four vehicles on the road today were not designed to use higher ethanol blends like E15. The Congressional Budget Office found that forcing ethanol volumes to statutory levels dictated by the RFS could cost consumers up to an additional 30 cents per gallon for standard E10 gasoline and up to an additional 45 cents per gallon for petroleum diesel. Over more than a decade, another of the RFS’ chief goals – establishing a viable commercial market for cellulosic biofuels – has not been achieved.

Short of repealing the RFS, the program should be reformed to align it with market realities, protect consumers and preserve a place in the fuel supply for ethanol-free fuel for which there is important customer demand.

Pro-Growth Tax Reform

America’s natural gas and oil industry is a major driver of the economy, supporting over 10 million jobs, investing billions each year in capital projects and generating about $70 million a day in government revenues. The right pro-growth tax policies can accelerate the economic investments that generate all those benefits, and create more jobs while helping to provide affordable energy for consumers. Maintaining provisions that enable cost-recovery and implementing a new and more competitive international taxation system can help strengthen the U.S. energy renaissance and ensure continued benefits for American consumers and businesses.

Ensure Electricity Grid Reliability And Resilience

Abundant, affordable natural gas was the top fuel for U.S. electricity generation in 2016 and was on track to be the leader again in 2017. Natural gas-fueled generation defines reliability, furnishing dispatchability, ramp rates, frequency response and other important attributes that help ensure the health of the electricity grid.

The resilience of the modern natural gas system was demonstrated during last year’s hurricanes, with the system’s geographic diversity keeping supplies flowing. Markets, not government interventions should determine energy sources for power generation because they reward innovation and work toward lower prices and benefit consumers.

Grow U.S. Global Energy Leadership through Energy Exports

As a growing exporter of crude oil and liquefied natural gas (LNG), the United States is able to help friends and allies abroad while strengthening its position as a global energy superpower. Energy exports boost U.S. trade, help spur domestic production and help grow the economy.

Our allies see the United States as a reliable, alternative energy supplier. In that way, supplying energy to allies supports our nation’s foreign policy goals. U.S. policy should strengthen the competitiveness of U.S. energy in the global marketplace, for example, by expediting federal approvals for LNG export facilities, allowing more U.S. natural gas to reach customers overseas.

Commonsense, Effective Regulation

Maintaining the current, successful regulatory approach – a combination of federal and state oversight – is essential to continued natural gas and oil production that has made the United States the world’s leading producer, increasing our security and boosting our economy. The marriage of advanced hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling is the engine of the U.S. energy renaissance. It is safe – and well-regulated and will continue to play the major role in U.S. energy production, guided by a commonsense regulatory approach.

Modernize, Strengthen Free-Trade Agreements

Provisions in free trade agreements help ensure that U.S. companies – including those in the natural gas and oil industry – may compete on a level playing field around the globe. When they do, they win – and so does the U.S. These agreements help ensure access to foreign markets and that companies and their investments are protected from discriminatory, anti-competitive actions by foreign governments. Free trade benefits the United States by building demand for U.S. energy, which stimulates domestic production and supports jobs here at home.


The 2018 State of American Energy report highlights how the natural gas and oil industry powers our nation and the world past challenges, many of them thought to be impossible.

The natural gas and oil industry isn’t satisfied with today’s levels of performance, nor does it retreat from challenges others may consider impossible. The industry is about the future and consistently demonstrates that today’s impossibilities can be tomorrow’s reality. Americans look to the industry to get our nation’s energy policy right, today. They expect safe, unsurpassed energy production that makes them more secure and prosperous while protecting the environment – so Americans can power past what may be considered impossible.

This year’s report reminds all Americans of the fundamental benefits of natural gas, oil and refined products and in their daily lives. The once-in-a-generation opportunity provided by the 21st century American energy renaissance continues to strengthen our economic and national security today and is the foundation for a brighter future.

From the electricity that lights our homes, to the paint that adorns our walls, to innovative medical devices that save countless lives and more, the natural gas and oil industry is leading progress today and will do so tomorrow – capitalizing on the opportunity to build an American future characterized by energy abundance, greater selfsufficiency and security, and global leadership.

All while Powering Past Impossible.