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API on Alaska, energy industry policy and support

Hydrocarbon Engineering,

API President and CEO, Jack Gerard spoke at the AOGA luncheon and below are some of the highlights of his speech which focused on energy policy and support and Alaska’s role in the oil and gas sector.

‘Alaska is one of the best examples of how energy policy can change not just the trajectory of energy production, but how it can greatly improve and enhance the lives and livelihoods of its citizens. For years, the oil and natural gas industry, regulators and men and women of Alaska have stood together and provided a tangible example of the positive results that can come from choosing energy policies that encourage safe and responsible development.’

Upstream and midstream comments

‘Today, in sharp contrast, the politically motivated delays of another vital energy infrastructure project, the Keystone XL pipeline, continue with no end in sight.’

‘Fortunately, your congressional delegation remains a steadfast voice of reason and an important ally in our effort to rein in governmental excess. Alaska’s bipartisan support for Keystone and on other important energy issues sends an important signal that when it comes to energy, there is no place for partnership or narrow minded orthodoxy. Unfortunately, the same can’t be said for others in Washington who hold the fate of Keystone in their hands.

‘And on a related note, while this administration continues to tout our nation’s ever decreasing CO2 emissions, they can’t quite bring themselves to connect the dots between hydraulic fracturing and the abundant amount of natural gas, which is not only also making our nation more energy secure but is also bringing back manufacturing to American soil, and with it thousands of well paying jobs.’

‘Today, 87% of federal offshore areas remain off limits to oil and natural gas production. For no reason other than political ideology. And where development is possible in federal areas, permitting and leasing is a slow and cumbersome process.’

‘The consequences and the lost economic potential of the federal government’s parsimonious approach to energy development on lands it controls are particularly striking. For example, if the administration were to allow more energy development in Alaska’s Offshore Arctic waters, it would not only add 27 million bbls of oil, and 132 trillion ft3 of natural gas to America’s proven energy portfolio, it could also lead, directly and indirectly, to more than 54 000 jobs across the country.’

US benefits and developments

‘Nationally, the right energy policies could result in:

  • An increase of total supported US employment by 1 million in seven years and over 1.4 million by 2030.
  • More than 995 000 direct job opportunities by 2020 and nearly 1.3 million job opportunities by 2030 in the oil and natural gas and petrochemical industries.
  • In 2011 our industry provided a US$ 528 billion direct boost to the US economy.

All of which underscores my point that leadership and policy matter when it comes to energy.’`

‘To those who think that policy doesn’t matter when it comes to energy development, I’d suggest that they look at the consequences of that attitude in Alaska. I would remind them that Alaska’s oil and natural gas deposits account for almost 30% of the nation’s energy reserves, and yet today the state’s energy production accounts for approximately 7% of US production down from a high of 25% in 1989. In recent decades, Alaska has been the highest or second highest producing state of crude oil. Today, Alaska ranks fourth…slipping behind North Dakota and California.’

‘Policy matter and you cannot take for granted our industry’s ability to supply the energy we need and to create well paying jobs. Just like any other industry, we require public policies that promote growth and protect our investments in communities.’

A big decision?

‘The decision before us is whether we pursue an American future of energy abundance, self sufficiency and global leadership or take a step back to the era of American energy scarcity, dependence and economic uncertainty. It is that simple.

‘Our industry’s answer is equally simple: We will continue to work hard to cement our nation’s place as global energy superpower and Alaska’s place as a regional power to press our elected leaders for policies that promote energy development, job creation and energy security.’

Adapted from speech by Claira Lloyd

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