The 2016 U.S. presidential election season is already in full swing, as some 22 politicians have officially thrown their hats into the ring. On a similar note oil and gas industry advocates are at work to improve energy polices and lighten regulatory constraints when it comes to developing new infrastructure. The American Petroleum Institute (API) has relaunched its “Vote4Energy” campaign to help spread the word on pro-energy politics.
The API recently announced a new study that indicates pro-development energy policies could add 2.3 million U.S. jobs and add $443 billion per year to the U.S. economy by 2035. Released in June, the study by Wood Mackenzie, “A comparison of U.S. Oil and Natural Gas Policies — Pro Development Policies vs. Proposed Regulatory Constraints,” also showed a path of regulatory constraints proposed by the Obama administration could lead to 830,000 lost jobs and lead to a decrease of $133 billion per year in the U.S. economy.
“The study contrasts the tremendous difference between the benefits from pro-energy policies and the negative effects of policy decisions that are anti-energy,” said API president and CEO Jack Gerard. “Energy is fundamental to our society, and thanks to American innovation and entrepreneurial spirit, our nation stands among the world’s leaders in energy production. America will remain a global energy leader only if we get our nation’s energy policy right today.”
Furthermore, the study found that pro-development policies could increase cumulative local, state and federal government revenue by more than $1 trillion and lower average annual household energy expenses by $360 by 2035. On the other hand, a path of regulatory constraints would lead to a cumulative decrease of $500 billion in government revenue from 2016 to 2035 and an increase of $242 in average annual household energy costs.
The study examined such pro-development policies as more efficient permitting processes, quicker approval of energy infrastructure projects and lifting of the decades-old ban on crude oil exports. Some of the regulatory constraining policies include the hydraulic fracturing rule from the Bureau of Land Management, proposed rule on tank car safety from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, blowout preventer rule from the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and new rules that regulate refinery emissions from EPA.
“Looking ahead to the 2016 elections, API will be encouraging a comprehensive conversation about our energy future by engaging voters and policymakers through our Vote4Energy education and advocacy effort,” Gerard said. “In exactly 72 weeks Americans will cast their vote to decide who will represent them at all levels of government. The electoral decisions we collectively make in 2016 will be fundamental to the trajectory of our nation’s energy, economic and national security future. Future generations are looking to us to get our nation’s energy policy right and are counting on us to leave them a country that is second-to-none in energy production, security and economic prosperity.”
While the oil and gas industry has experienced unquestionably strong growth during the Obama administration, despite some high-profile hiccups, it’s important that energy development remains a priority to ensure safety, integrity and robust growth.