The State of American Energy: Safer, Cleaner and More Secure

As we kick off a new year, Americans see a bright outlook for U.S. oil and natural gas, according to the American Petroleum Institute. “Natural gas and oil drive the U.S. and world economies, and energy analysts project they will continue in that leading role for decades to come,” API said this week in its 2019 State of American Energy report.

The report explains that the shale revolution has already “reshaped the global energy balance” in America’s favor, and with the skill and technical expertise of “Generation Energy,” the future of American energy will be even “safer, cleaner and better.”

As API president and CEO Mike Sommers said,

“Believers in our industry might not have been surprised that America could again be the leading producer of natural gas and oil.  And maybe a few thought that we could also reduce carbon emissions faster than any other nation.  But who ever imagined that we could achieve both?”

Here are a few of the key takeaways from this year’s State of American Energy.

Energy Leadership

The United States leads the world in oil and natural gas production, making America “stronger, more secure and more prosperous” – a fact that 76 percent of Americans take pride in, according to the report.

Source: State of American Energy, 2019

In fact, in 2018 U.S. crude oil production exceeded 11 million barrels per day for the first time. This more than doubled 2008 production, and resulted in the United States surpassing Russia as the world’s largest crude oil producer.

The U.S. oil and natural gas industry employs more than 10.3 million Americans and increased domestic production has led to the lowest net imports of petroleum in more than 50 years. There’s been a 70 percent reduction in these imports since 2005 alone!

Notably, the report highlights comments from ConocoPhillips chairman and CEO Ryan Lance that predict we haven’t even scratched the surface of America’s energy potential yet:

“Despite the progress made over the last five years we ought to see that move exponentially again over the next five and ten years.”

Energy For a Cleaner Environment

Eighty-eight percent of Americans support U.S. energy companies helping to find solutions for environmental challenges, according to the report. Panelists during a presentation on its findings explained how the oil and natural gas industry has made emissions reductions and cleaner operations a top priority.

As the report details, the United States is experiencing the cleanest air in more than a decade and leading the world in carbon emissions reductions.

In addition to carbon emissions reductions, EPA data show overall U.S. air pollution declined 73 percent from 1970 to 2017, and harmful pollutants that have been linked to ozone and respiratory issues have seen significant declines at the same time that natural gas consumption has increased.

The transition to more natural-gas electricity generation has also helped reduce the amount of water used by power plants. These facilities have used less water every year since 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration.

Energy for Modern Life & Our Future

Eighty-three percent of Americans understand that oil and natural gas is an important part of our future, while 90 percent see the personal value these resources have in our daily lives, according to the report. And they couldn’t be more right.

Oil and natural gas are important building blocks in virtually every product we use – from health care to recreational items.

Further, as the report describes, 68 percent of U.S. energy comes from oil and natural gas, with the EIA predicting that nearly 50 percent of U.S. electricity will come from natural gas by 2040.

The API report explains,

“Natural gas and oil are unsurpassed in the attributes that power a modern society, including portability and reliability. This is why energy forecasters project an energy future in which natural gas and oil continue to be leaders, here at home and around the world.”

As such, as EID has previously discussed, U.S. natural gas will be a key component in reducing world energy poverty and global emissions.


The 2019 State of American Energy is clear: the U.S. oil and natural gas industry has changed America’s role in global energy production. Today, the United States has greater energy security, while also making significant strides to improve our environment. And, as the report explains, the future looks even brighter.

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