The State of American Energy: Pretty Darn Good – and Getting Better!
The American Petroleum Institute (API) hosted its annual State of American Energy event Tuesday at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, DC, featuring the release of API’s 2018 State of Energy report and a keynote address from API President Jack Gerard. Gerard’s remarks – and the API report – painted a bright future for the oil and gas industry, which is “Powering Past Impossible” on all fronts, from regulatory reforms to technological advances.
Overall, the energy industry hasn’t had it better in years. Now, API is focused on devising a strategy for ensuring continued success on a variety of fronts. In the United States, oil and gas production is up and continues rising, oil prices have recovered, greenhouse gas emissions are down and decreasing, regulatory roadblocks are finally being cleared away, and the industry is directly supporting over 10 million jobs (and counting).
Gerard spoke highly of the industry’s greenhouse gas reductions in particular:
“Today we are increasing energy development as we’re contributing to lower greenhouse gas emissions, a reality many believed was implausible, if not impossible.”
Even with these resounding successes, there’s more work to be done. As the Houston Chronicle recently reported, Gerard has publicly pushed the Trump administration to make good on its promises for supporting infrastructure development in 2018. According to the article, Gerard’s remarks were clearly representative of the will of the industry:
“Energy lobbyists are eager to see Congress take steps to speed up oil and gas pipeline permitting while modernizing the nation’s power grid.”
Gerard also made some international headlines by calling for the U.S. government to continue its participation in the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) with Mexico and Canada. While the current U.S. administration is considering withdrawing from NAFTA over trade disagreements, Gerard made the case for continuing NAFTA as a job-supporting, economy-boosting pact:
“From our vantage point, the energy part of NAFTA is not broken,” he told reporters after the event, according to the AFP. “We believe they should stay with the existing NAFTA construct as it relates to energy, as opposed to pulling out of NAFTA.”
He argued that it was more important than ever to stay in the agreement as the U.S. industry will depend on it to facilitate increasing exports of oil, gas and petroleum products in the coming years.
Even with these concerns in mind, the industry is faring well. In large part, the petroleum industry sector’s success can be traced back to hydraulic fracturing, which has unlocked an abundance of energy even cheaper than coal has been in recent years. The shale revolution is driving down power costs across much of the country, as new pipeline networks make natural gas the energy source of choice for more utilities. It’s a trend that many, including API, expect will continue.