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Marty Durbin's Remarks at Energy & Communities Report Press Call

As prepared for delivery

Energy & Communities Report Press Call
Marty Durbin
Opening Statement

Innovation in America’s natural gas and oil industry has rewritten the nation’s energy script: we have clearly entered an era of abundance that has lowered costs for consumers while accelerating environmental progress. Thanks to the combination of new technologies and decades of experience, the U.S. can now safely develop energy resources once thought inaccessible. We have an oil resource that can meet 75 years of current demand and a natural gas resource that can meet up to 145 years of current demand using today’s technology.

Beyond providing new economic opportunity, well-paying jobs, royalties and improved property values, energy development can enhance communities in countless ways not always recognized. Today, API is releasing a new report highlighting the concrete ways America’s natural gas and oil industry helps local communities where we operate.

Communities around the country are benefiting from civic sponsorships, environmental conservation projects and enhancements to roads, schools, public services and more, that are all part of company good neighbor policies. From the small – such as pollinator gardens to support local bee populations in agricultural communities – to the large – such as creating safe spaces for endangered species, including the sagebrush lizard, the prairie chicken, as well as elk, bald eagles, songbirds and more.

The industry is also working to foster the educational needs of the next generation of workers, particularly in the STEM subjects: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. A wide array of industry programs and individual company initiatives are aimed at developing student interest in STEM subjects as early as kindergarten, and sustaining that interest through high school and into college. Companies are creating labs that introduce students to tools and technology, judging science fairs, supporting summer STEM camps and more.

The U.S. natural gas and oil industry is committed to producing more energy while reducing our footprint and improving the efficiency and safety of our operations. Investments in innovative technologies and operational improvements make it possible to lead the world not only in production and refining of oil and natural gas but also in reduction of carbon emissions – all while enhancing energy security and generating major economic benefits.

Between 1990 and 2015, methane emissions from natural gas systems dropped 16.3 percent overall and 59 percent from hydraulically fractured natural gas wells, all while the electric power sector’s natural gas consumption rose nearly 200 percent. Between 2000 and 2014, the natural gas and oil industry has invested $90 billion in zero- and low-carbon emissions technologies. That’s nearly as much as the federal government, and far more than any other industry segment. In addition, U.S. energy-related greenhouse gas emissions are now at their lowest level in nearly 25 years – all while oil and natural gas production soared.

America’s world-class refining sector not only produces the fuels that energize our transportation sector, but also produces cleaner fuels to ensure that our air stays clean. The combination of cleaner gasoline and diesel fuels, modernized equipment and facilities, and more fuel-efficient vehicles has helped reduce U.S. air pollutants by 71 percent between 1970 and 2015. This dramatic improvement came even as vehicle miles traveled increased by more than 184 percent.

Internationally recognized standards formalize industry safety practices to protect everyone and everything that touch the natural gas and oil industry – from the consumer and workers to the environment and public. API is a standards institute, and through our Global Industry Services division, we maintain a portfolio of more than 700 standards covering all segments of the industry, in addition to supporting a vigorous standard-setting program. API is also at the forefront of worker training, which is crucial to avoiding workplace incidents. API is the industry leader in certificate programs, giving employees and contractors the skills to stay safe in the workplace.

Across the board – from workplace safety to air emissions– the numbers tell an important story of continuous improvement, investment in the future, and technological innovation.

America’s natural gas and oil industry provides the affordable, reliable energy that is the lifeblood of our economy, and we understand that the nation’s prosperity fundamentally relies on our industry’s ability to produce more of these resources in a way that promotes safety, benefits our communities and values environmental stewardship.

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