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Jack Gerard's speech at the 24th Annual Logistics and Manufacturing Symposium

As prepared for delivery

Jack Gerard, API president and CEO
24th Annual Logistics and Manufacturing Symposium
September 20, 2017

Good morning everyone. I want to thank Rep. Cuellar for taking time out of his very hectic schedule to join us this morning and for his leadership in Congress on energy issues.

I’ll leave the deep dive political discussion to him, but I would like to point out that the last several months have taught all of us to expect the unexpected when it comes to politics.

For years, API has worked with forward-thinking leaders such as Rep. Cuellar, from both parties and all regions of the nation, to advance energy policies that promote responsible and safe energy development. This is more important than ever because of our nation's role as the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas. And of course, American global energy leadership would not be possible without Texas' leadership. In fact, if Texas were a sovereign nation, it would rank third in dry natural gas production behind the United States and Russia, and eighth in the world in crude oil production.

America’s 21st-century energy renaissance is about more than increased domestic production of natural gas, oil and refined products; it is also about economic growth and opportunity. Nationally, direct, indirect and induced employment supported by the oil and natural gas sector stands at approximately 10.3 million. And the industry accounts for $1.3 trillion total of GDP, which for context, is larger than the entire GDP of Spain in 2016.

Here in Texas, the average annual salary across all industries and sectors is a little more than $52,000, which is less than half of the average salary in the oil and gas industry (excluding gas stations) of more than $117,000. And these are well-paying jobs across the skills continuum. The economic benefits and opportunities created by our nation's dramatically improved energy landscape extend across the nation.

It is worth noting that this economic growth has been achieved while lowering emissions largely as a result of abundant, affordable and clean-burning domestically produced natural gas. The United States leads the world in the reduction of carbon emissions, due primarily to increased use of natural gas, now the leading fuel, in electricity generation. As a result, the nation’s carbon emissions are at 30-year lows.

Sustaining the progress we have made requires policies that look forward and embrace our nation’s full energy potential.

This year’s theme, “Pathways for Trade: North America The Most Competitive Region in the World,” gets at two of the most important issues facing the energy industry: the need for infrastructure and trade policies that encourage American energy abundance and leadership.

There’s no question; the American energy renaissance has delivered significant economic and environmental benefits – so significant that it can be easy to take our new energy reality for granted. With gas prices low and imports down, investing in infrastructure may not seem as urgent to some. But, they should remember that today’s energy security is the result of decisions and investments made many years ago. That’s why now is the time to invest in the pipelines, rails, roads, and other structures needed to transport, store and deliver the energy needed to fuel growing demand here and around the world.

According to the Energy Information Administration, even under optimistic scenarios for renewable energy growth, oil and natural gas will still supply approximately 60 percent of U.S. energy needs by 2040.

The fact is the United States has the resources to maintain our position as a world energy leader, along with the myriad economic and security benefits that they confer. We must, therefore invest in infrastructure, which will help our nation capitalize on our energy advantages.

Research tells us that American energy abundance and reliable access to energy – infrastructure – helps to drive down utility, product and other energy-related costs for families.

According to an IHS study, America's energy abundance helped to deliver cost savings of $1337 to the average American household budget in 2015. Further, U.S. industrial electricity costs are 30-50 percent lower than those of our foreign competitors, giving U.S. manufacturers – including producers of steel, chemicals, refined fuels, plastics, fertilizers and numerous other products – a major competitive advantage, which is felt right here in Laredo.