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Jack Gerard's remarks at energy in transition event

Jack Gerard
Energy in Transition
November 18, 2016

As Prepared for Delivery

Thank you, Meg, for the introduction.

Good afternoon everyone and thank you for joining us for Energy in Transition. Before we begin I want to acknowledge a few special guests with us today.

First, Terry O’Sullivan, General President of the Laborers’ International Union of North America who will share his thoughts on the labor movement’s role in America’s 21st century energy renaissance.

And we are also joined by leaders from the oil, coal, natural gas, solar, wind and nuclear industries who will share what I think is our common goal for the next administration -- a true all-of-the-above approach to energy policy.

In a few weeks, a new administration begins. President Trump will take office at a time of unprecedented energy production, largely as a result of innovations in the decades-old technique of hydraulic fracturing and refining capacity thanks to our nation’s world class refineries and their state of the art refining techniques.

The fundamental question, in the energy space, his administration will be called to answer is whether to pursue an all-of-the-above energy strategy by promoting all sources of energy, from oil and natural gas, to coal, to solar to wind to nuclear.

We are encouraged by his generally positive comments on energy and support for investment, both public and private in infrastructure.

As the transition moves forward, we need to remember that the United States leads the world in oil and natural gas production and refining capacity -- a historic achievement that few predicted.

We should also remember that to sustain America’s place as a global energy leader we need policies that promote or at least do not hinder our nation’s ability to develop its energy resources, from all sources.

Our message to the new administration and Congress is simple: Markets not government mandates are the best way to achieve our nation’s energy, economic and environmental goals.

The good news is that choosing the best way forward isn’t a matter of guess work. We know how to lead the world in oil and natural gas production and refining and emissions reduction at a time of economic growth. It’s called today’s reality. And we have a potent ally, the American voter.

Our Election Day poll of actual voters showed that, on this and other energy issues, the American voter is clearly on the side of positive pro-development and refining policies and increasing investment in our nation’s energy infrastructure.

Broadly, the poll reinforced the oil and natural gas industry’s position that partisanship has no place in energy policy. And the poll made clear that the American people support policies that build on our nation’s global energy leadership, promote domestic energy security and investments in energy infrastructure.

For example, the poll found that 80 percent of voters support increased development of U.S. oil and natural gas resources including 71 percent of Democrats, 94 percent of Republicans and 76 percent of Independents. Eighty-one percent support increased development of the country’s energy infrastructure.

On the other hand, 75 percent expressed concern about government requirements that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline, while 72 percent oppose higher taxes that could decrease investment in energy production and reduce energy development, including 62 percent of Democrats, 70 percent of Independents and 86 percent of Republicans.

Further, the poll found that the American voter rejects the false choice offered by some between growing the economy and producing and using more energy and a cleaner environment.

Specifically 77 percent of voters support natural gas’ role in reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from electricity production, which today stands at near 20-year lows.

Few other issues enjoy energy’s level of bipartisan support, and remain one of the few that bridge the ideological divide between Democrats and Republicans.

The American voter’s embrace of increased domestic energy development, smarter energy polices and investments in energy infrastructure is a reflection, I believe, in their intuitive understanding of the fundamental role of affordable, abundant and reliable energy to modern life.

Pro-development energy policies enjoy strong support that cuts across party lines because the benefits of American energy exceptionalism make a positive, tangible difference to all of our lives every day.

For example, AAA estimates that drivers saved more than $550 in fuel costs and the average household saved as much as $1337 due to utility and other energy-related savings in 2015.

Ultimately, the very universality of oil and natural gas as a source of electricity, fuel and feedstock for everyday products makes the national energy policy discussion more than a collection of abstract policy positions.

Our goal is to forge a common consensus that spurs our lawmakers to pursue energy policies that drives economic growth, lowers costs for consumers, protects the environment, increases American competitiveness and provides to our allies a reliable partner that uses its considerable energy resources as a way to lift people up.

We believe that our nation’s best future will only be achieved through a true “all-of-the-above” energy strategy. And we believe that voters were clear last week: They want their lawmakers to set aside partisan bickering and to work together to solve our common challenges.

Energy is one of the few areas of agreement between Democrats and Republicans and we will continue to work with anyone interested in securing our nation’s energy future.

As we look ahead to the new administration it is our hope that energy will remain above partisanship and focused on what matters most; meeting the ever-growing demand for energy, enhancing America’s energy security and above all ensuring that consumers continue to enjoy safe, abundant, affordable and reliable domestically produced energy for many years to come.

Thank you again, ladies and gentlemen, for joining us today. Carl…

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