Wednesday, January 27, 2010

API Critical Of Lack Of Focus On Oil & Natural Gas Jobs

Jan 26: In advance of the President's State of the Union message, the American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Jack Gerard opened a media conference call with a statement calling for the Obama Administration to begin focusing on jobs from producing more American oil and natural gas -- not just "so-called green energy." Gerard also said the some of the Administration's policies will actually make the nation more dependent on imported energy and seem to be aimed at stifling the job creation potential of domestic oil and natural gas development.

He said, "The American oil and natural gas industry clearly has a role to play in putting Americans back to work. The U.S. oil and natural gas industry already supports more than 9 million American jobs and can create many more. The industry created more than two million additional American jobs in the years 2004 to 2007 alone. We are also a leading creator of green jobs. Between 2000 and 2008, the oil and natural gas industry invested more than $58 billion on these and other carbon mitigation technologies, more than either the federal government or the rest of private industry combined. Using Center for American Progress economic assumptions, we have created 1.2 million green jobs and there is more potential."

He also said, "A key talking point for this Administration and Congress is lessening our dependence on imported energy. Yet the very policies it is pursuing will actually make our nation more, not less, dependent on imported energy. Some of the policies advanced recently seem aimed at stifling the job creation potential of domestic oil and natural gas development. Tax proposals in the budget are anti-jobs, anti-consumer and anti-energy. Other initiatives would adversely affect leasing and development on federal lands and U.S. waters and drive up the costs of doing business."

Gerard concluding saying, "The nexus between more energy development of all kinds and more jobs is strong. We hope the Administration comes to recognize that. With the Administration and all Americans, we share a common goal: more jobs. And we're ready to work with everyone to attain it. We need to move beyond political sloganeering and work together to create common sense energy and economic policy that is non-partisan, a policy that will get Americans working again, put the economy firmly back on its feet and bolster our energy security." [Emphasis in original]

The Department of Interior (DOI) immediately issued a point-by-point response -- or what it called a "Rhetoric" v. "Reality" response. Interior spokeswoman Kendra Barkoff said, “Mr. Gerard needs to check his facts before making statements that are so far off the mark. Oil and gas production on federal lands and waters is up -- not down -- from 2008, and under Secretary Salazar’s leadership the Department has offered more than 56 million additional acres for development. Interior’s agencies will continue to promote oil and gas development in the right ways, in the right places, and with a fair return for the American taxpayer, regardless of the political spears Mr. Gerard may throw on any given day.” The DOI release continues to detail facts and figures in response to the API statement.

API issued a counter response saying, "Mr. Gerard stands by his facts. Interior doesn’t rebut one -- and can’t. The bottom line is that Interior is not moving forward with leasing to provide for America’s energy future, which would also create thousands of jobs for Americans and generate billions of dollars in government revenue. Interior’s attack on the veracity of Mr. Gerard’s comments is pure dissimulation. It fails to address Mr. Gerard’s point that leased acreage plunged in 2009 and concedes that lease revenues collapsed by more than 90 percent during the first year of this Interior Department."

Access the complete statement from API (
click here). Access the Rhetoric v. Reality response from DOI (click here). Access the counter response from API (click here).

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