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American Petroleum Institute highlights energy benefits ahead of coming elections

Rigs aiming to produce oil and natural gas from shale in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province are seen drilling near Chickasha in 2018. The CEO of the American Petroleum Institute states that technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made it possible for the U.S. to become a net energy exporter. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTOS]
Rigs aiming to produce oil and natural gas from shale in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province are seen drilling near Chickasha in 2018. The CEO of the American Petroleum Institute states that technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made it possible for the U.S. to become a net energy exporter. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTOS]

The American Petroleum Institute is venturing headlong into the political arena as the presidential election approaches.

On Tuesday, Mike Sommers, the institute’s CEO, said the oil and gas industry’s hope is that it can remind Americans of how the industry benefits them as some leading presidential contenders and their supporters argue the planet would be better off if the use of fossil fuels were abandoned.

“The work of the problem-solvers of our industry is never done,” Sommers stated, as part of the institute's Energy for Progress: The State of American Energy 2020 report released Tuesday.

“We are partnering with the best minds to meet the rising demand of affordable energy, while driving progress on the serious challenges posed by climate change,” Sommers stated in the report's introduction.

The report stresses positive impacts the institute asserts are being felt in communities across the nation because of abundant American energy supplies, particularly natural gas.

It attributed that growth to the advent of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, technological advancements that Sommers equated to the same level of significance as the creation of the iPhone.

Jobs creation is a major impact in areas where the industry is actively producing, both within the industry and in other economic segments that support those workers, the report states.

In other areas of the country, businesses that use natural gas to produce various consumable goods and are paying lower fuel costs to transport those goods are benefiting, while families also are enjoying lower energy costs to heat and cool their homes as power providers replace aging coal-fired plants with facilities that use natural gas to generate electricity, the report states.

It also devotes space to discussing how the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity has positively impacted the nation’s emissions levels.

Drilling down, the report highlights direct and indirect beneficial impacts the industry is having on seven specific areas in the country. It estimates oil and gas jobs add $3.4 billion annually to the economy that supports the Aurora, Colorado, area, for example.

And it estimates the oil and gas industry supports 18,390 jobs, including many that are part of a growing broader economy, in Moon Township, Pennsylvania.

It promotes similar benefits the oil and natural gas industry generates for large and small businesses and area residents in Red Wing, Minnesota; Lansing, Michigan; Las Cruces, New Mexico; Virginia Beach, Virginia; and Eau Claire, Wisconsin.

Cheap natural gas, the report notes, is a crucial pillar of support for the nation’s industrial producers, given that the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that 30.4% of natural gas deliveries made in 2018 were to that sector of the economy.

Politicking ahead

In a call that Sommers held Tuesday morning to answer questions from reporters ahead of the report’s release, he spent some time explaining why the institute and its members oppose an expanded use of ethanol and support expanding off-shore oil and gas exploration into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.

And despite the report’s assertion that the increased use of natural gas in place of coal has significantly lowered U.S. emissions, he was peppered with questions about observed recent increases in natural gas production and consumption emissions that left him defending the industry’s opposition against mandatory federal, state and local emissions limits in favor of industry-supported voluntary efforts to curb emissions instead.

He agreed the institute is concerned about how many of the leading Democratic contenders for President and some Congressional members either support outright fracking bans or doing away with oil and gas leases for federal lands (including off-shore areas).

The report states the institute estimates a ban on hydraulic fracturing would increase U.S. household energy costs by $900 billion between now and 2030, potentially costing the U.S. economy $7.1 trillion and as many as 7.3 million jobs over that period of time.

The institute report also proposes steps it believes the country should take together to both keep the nation’s energy affordable and to help improve the environment.

Those include building out an additional $1 trillion worth of pipelines and associated infrastructure to move product from where it is produced to where it is consumed, reducing the complexity of federal permitting rules for that work, increasing oil and gas production from on- and off-shore federal lands, removing existing trade barriers and rolling back of subsidies for certain types of renewable energy programs and vehicles.

“You will see API will be at the forefront of the debate about America’s energy future,” Sommers told reporters on Tuesday. “We are taking our message of energy progress to every corner of the country to show just what is at stake in Washington and in state capitals around the country."

Related Photos
<strong>Crews from an Oklahoma company are photographed completing a well using hydraulic fracturing. The American Petroleum Institute aims to take its message about the benefits of U.S. energy independence to voters this election season as it seeks to combat efforts to limit the completion technique.</strong>

Crews from an Oklahoma company are photographed completing a well using hydraulic fracturing. The American Petroleum Institute aims to take its message about the benefits of U.S. energy independence to voters this election season as it seeks to combat efforts to limit the completion technique.

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c32b77b7ae8f671d31e7e1a53286fa1f.jpg" alt="Photo - Crews from an Oklahoma company are photographed completing a well using hydraulic fracturing. The American Petroleum Institute aims to take its message about the benefits of U.S. energy independence to voters this election season as it seeks to combat efforts to limit the completion technique. " title=" Crews from an Oklahoma company are photographed completing a well using hydraulic fracturing. The American Petroleum Institute aims to take its message about the benefits of U.S. energy independence to voters this election season as it seeks to combat efforts to limit the completion technique. "><figcaption> Crews from an Oklahoma company are photographed completing a well using hydraulic fracturing. The American Petroleum Institute aims to take its message about the benefits of U.S. energy independence to voters this election season as it seeks to combat efforts to limit the completion technique. </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c1d221dc829fd9f5ea506ed7c5fcfc17.jpg" alt="Photo - Rigs aiming to produce oil and natural gas from shale in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province are seen drilling near Chickasha in 2018. The CEO of the American Petroleum Institute states that technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made it possible for the U.S. to become a net energy exporter. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTOS] " title=" Rigs aiming to produce oil and natural gas from shale in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province are seen drilling near Chickasha in 2018. The CEO of the American Petroleum Institute states that technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made it possible for the U.S. to become a net energy exporter. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTOS] "><figcaption> Rigs aiming to produce oil and natural gas from shale in the South Central Oklahoma Oil Province are seen drilling near Chickasha in 2018. The CEO of the American Petroleum Institute states that technological advances in horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing made it possible for the U.S. to become a net energy exporter. [OKLAHOMAN ARCHIVES PHOTOS] </figcaption></figure>
Jack Money

Jack Money has worked for The Oklahoman for more than 20 years. During that time, he has worked for the paper’s city, state, metro and business news desks, including serving for a while as an assistant city editor. Money has won state and regional... Read more ›

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