At the start of 2023, the main U.S. oil lobby resumed calls on the Biden Administration to increase access to domestic oil and gas resources, reform the permitting process, and reverse the hostile rhetoric toward the industry, which could bolster America’s energy security if given the right incentives to do so. The American Petroleum Institute (API) issued a report outlining a plan for the 118th Congress to “make, move and improve America’s energy.”
“As consumers face growing energy costs, API urges policymakers to take a more realistic approach and ensure that American natural gas and oil are prioritized as long-term strategic assets,” the oil lobby said.
The U.S. has the resources to ensure homegrown production of oil and gas, which in turn would ensure that America doesn’t deepen its reliance on foreign resources, according to API.
“If America doesn’t lead, others will,” API President and CEO Mike Sommers said.
Global oil and gas demand is expected to continue rising this year and in the coming years, he said in the State of American Energy 2023 keynote address last week.
“That demand will be met one way or another. If America does not meet it, it will be met by countries that do not share our security interests, environmental standards, or values.”
Sommers called on the Administration and the new Congress “to craft and enact bipartisan policies to make, move, and improve American energy.”
“Last year, our friends in Europe learned the hard way that energy security is national security. It’s time to implement that lasting lesson here in America, with business and government working together.”
API’s report, entitled “The Solution is Here” focuses on three pillars—make, move, and improve—that is, policy recommendations to boost oil and gas production, increase takeaway capacity to demand centers, and support innovation in solutions to lower the industry’s carbon emissions.
In energy production, the problem, as identified by the API, is that there isn’t enough energy to meet rising demand. Despite the recovery in oil and gas demand post-Covid and despite the dire need for non-Russian energy in Europe after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, “Since the end of World War II, no presidential administration over its first 19 months in office leased as few acres on federal lands and waters for oil and natural gas production as the Biden administration,” the API said.
The policies to address this problem include the Administration increasing access to federal offshore and onshore drilling and signaling government support for needed energy investments, according to the oil and gas industry body.
The Biden Administration is currently finalizing the next five-year offshore leasing program, which has been delayed by several months already, creating yet more uncertainty for the U.S. oil industry, which has had to grapple with numerous mixed messages from Washington since President Biden took office.
In oil and gas transportation, America lacks sufficient infrastructure to meet demand as permitting and review delays block necessary infrastructure, the API said.
Ten major infrastructure projects, reflecting $34 billion in capital expenditures, were canceled, stalled, or were at risk of cancellation due to permitting and review delays in recent years, API noted. The canceled projects include four natural gas projects in Appalachia that could support 4.6 billion cubic feet per day of production needed by families and businesses in the region.
“In fact, many homes in Boston use fuel oil or imported natural gas for heat, because they lack access to cleaner American natural gas. That’s the sad irony of blocking pipelines on environmental grounds,” the API’s Sommers said in his keynote address.
API calls for reforms in the permitting and review processes, uniform environmental reviews with established time limits, an end to FERC overreach of permitting authority, an end to steel tariffs to alleviate supply-chain bottlenecks, and the use of performance-based regulation to help advance new technologies.
The global energy crisis, the result of a post-pandemic surge in demand and a war in Europe, won’t be resolved by asking other countries to produce more, Sommers said.
“We won’t resolve it by tapping the nation’s emergency petroleum reserve. That’s a band-aid, not a cure,” he added.
“The solution is right here in America, right under our feet. We just need to seize it.”
By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com
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