API says energy policy should be presidential candidate priority

By The Bakken Magazine Staff | September 20, 2015

The Vote4Energy campaign run by the American Petroleum Institute is urging Republican and Democrat presidential candidates to focus on energy policy during the upcoming 2016 campaign.

“We’re calling on candidates—Republican and Democrat alike—to share with voters their vision for harnessing this American energy moment,” says Jack Gerard, API president and CEO. “And we’re asking debate moderators and political pundits to raise important questions about America’s energy future.”

The Vote4Energy campaign is encouraging presidential candidates from both parties to address such issues as ending the 1970s ban on crude exports, a policy Gerard says is driven by “an era of scarcity, dependence and uncertainty.” The organization also favors a more efficient onshore permitting process, faster approval of energy infrastructure projects and a market-determined scope for LNG exports.

Gerard says that in the past 10 years, the energy industry has undergone a transformational shift brought about by hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, as well as refinery capacity expansions and efficiencies. But he says the Obama administration’s policies are aimed at restraining energy production.

“This surging American production has marginalized the ability of other nations to dictate prices and created vast new economic opportunities for U.S. workers and consumers,” Gerard says.

He criticized administration policies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new ozone standards, new limits on refinery emissions, the Bureau of Land Management’s hydraulic fracturing rule, the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement’s blowout preventer rule, and increasing ethanol mandates under the Renewable Fuel Standard.

“Make no mistake—America’s role as an energy superpower is not ensured,” Gerard says. “We’ve seen the mission creep of federal agencies on full display under this administration. Thousands of pages of new roadblocks and mandates are making their way through the regulatory pipeline.”
Gerard says Congress has rejected the Obama administration’s approach of restructuring the U.S. energy economy.

“They are selecting specific winners and losers, and by driving that, the ultimate loser is the American consumer,” he noted. “It’s very clear they have made an ideological choice to pick what they have as their preferred energy sources, and it’s not entirely by environmental issues.”