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Jack Gerard's remarks at press conference to release 2014 Election Day poll

Press conference to release 2014 Election Day poll
Jack Gerard, API President and CEO
Thursday, November 6, 2014

Opening statement, AS PREPARED FOR DELIVERY:

Good afternoon.

While the outcome of one or two key races have yet to be decided in the 2014 mid-term elections, one thing is abundantly clear:

In the 2014 election cycle, energy was the winner.

In race after race, voters from all regions of our nation and from both political parties voted for pro-development, true all-of-the-above energy policies.

That level of agreement during one of the most hard fought and divisive election cycles in recent memory is a direct result of the job creation, economic growth and positive environmental performance that are part of America’s 21st century energy renaissance, which is led by oil and natural gas.

The overwhelming support on the campaign trail is hardly a surprise when you consider the strong support among the American people for increased domestic energy production.

We commissioned an election night poll of actual voters, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents, and the results provide insight into what happened last night.

They also provide a lesson for candidates in 2016: pro-energy policies win.

The poll results show:

  • Looking ahead to the 2016 election, the Harris poll shows that 66 percent are more likely to support a candidate who supports producing more oil and natural gas here in the U.S. That’s 55 percent of Democrats and 82 percent of Republicans.
  • Ninety percent agree that increased production of domestic oil and natural gas resources could lead to more U.S. jobs, and 86 percent recognize it stimulates our economy. And the economy was the number one issue for voters.
  • On the RFS, 79 percent of voters were concerned about government requirements that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline since most auto manufacturers don’t warranty their vehicles against potential damages.
  • And the poll also found that 72 percent support building the Keystone XL pipeline, one of the most studied, debated and needlessly delayed infrastructure projects of our time. That’s 58 percent of Democrats who support KXL and 91 percent of Republicans.

We’ll make the full results of the poll available.

Most candidates have gotten the message on energy issues generally and Keystone XL, specifically. And that’s because they have heard from voters on these issues.

In fact, most of the money raised and spent by industry critics and outside funders, who have a view inconsistent with the American people, went to candidates who were closer to our all-of-the-above energy vision for our country, who recognize the leading role of oil and natural gas now and for decades.

Their vision of increased consumer costs, lower standard of living, and economic de-growth were soundly rejected by voters.

That’s great news for a nation where economic recovery has been lackluster.

If the new Congress is serious about living up to their energy campaign promises, which we expect they are, they should waste no time advancing a pro-energy, pro-growth agenda.

That includes approving the Keystone XL pipeline, expanding access to domestic oil and natural gas resources, and reforming the RFS.

It also means reining in duplicative and unnecessary regulations that voters rejected because they threaten our energy renaissance and harm our economy.

President Obama’s non-decision on Keystone actually is a decision – a decision to deny a shovel-ready project that would create more than 42,000 jobs and put over $2 billion in workers’ pockets during the two-year construction phase.

With Keystone, we’re 10 years and a few smart policy choices away from the ability to supply 100 percent of our liquid fuel needs from stable sources right here in North America.

Another key part of achieving that energy security milestone is greater access.

The fact is production is down in areas where the government has control.

Production is down 6 percent on federal lands for crude oil and 28 percent for natural gas – and off limits entirely for 87 percent of federal offshore acreage.

In contrast, on private and state lands, oil production is up 61 percent and natural gas production is up 33 percent. To be clear, this discrepancy is due to political science, not geologic science.

Our goal at API is to foster a broad and nonpartisan conversation on domestic energy issues. A conversation that will create an American consensus on smart public policy decisions that will allow our nation to take full advantage of its bright energy future.

We need elected leaders who understand what’s at stake and who are willing to set aside outdated assumptions and partisan talking points to work together on safe, responsible and fact-based energy policy.

In that regard, we hope that President Obama will take this opportunity to work with the new Congress on smart energy policies that grow our nation’s still shaky economy, create well-paying jobs and maintain our nation’s global energy leadership.

Tuesday’s results clearly show that’s the direction a broad majority of American voters would like to go.

Thank you, and now I’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.