Oil and gas trade groups urge Biden to address energy policy in State of the Union

World Oil staff March 06, 2024

(WO) – As President Joe Biden prepares to give the State of the Union address, oil and gas trade groups like the Independent Petroleum Association of America (IPAA), American Petroleum Institute (API) and National Ocean Industries Association (NOIA) issued statements on what they would like to hear regarding domestic energy policy and development.

What IPAA would like to hear from President Biden in State of the Union.  IPAA President & CEO Jeff Eshelman wants issues like energy prices, emissions reductions, permitting, commitment to our global allies and energy development on federal lands addressed in the year’s State of the Union.

Eshelman said, “Consumers are paying less for energy because of American oil and natural gas producers – not in spite of them. America’s oil and natural gas producers are innovating to produce more oil and natural gas than ever before, and this helps stabilize prices.

U.S. oil and natural gas producers are leading the way in emissions reductions as they bring energy to Americans and the world. Data from the Environmental Protection Agency showed stunning drops in total methane emissions across the board in oil and natural gas producing basins the United States. The Arkoma Basin (AR and OK) had a 77% decrease over the past five years, Anadarko (OK, TX, KS) a 44% decrease, and the Permian (TX and NM) had 32% less emissions. All showing that even with record production, U.S. operators continue to produce oil and gas responsibly and with an eye toward methane reduction. And voluntary efforts like The Environmental Partnership that have resulted in significant emissions reductions across the oil and gas value chain.

Energy infrastructure and permitting reform is something we should all get behind. Policies that stall energy production through delayed permitting, infrastructure or regulatory barriers diminish producers’ ability to operate. President Joe Biden has previously said he would sign any bipartisan permitting deal that came to his desk – members of Congress should work to pass permitting legislation.

The United States is committed to our allies. American supply of Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) allowed the European Union’s economies and population to survive as Russian natural gas was turned off following the brutal Russian invasion of Ukraine. Sending signals that the U.S. is slowing down exports emboldens our adversaries. Worldwide energy demand only increases and our domestic industry that produces the cleanest oil and natural gas in the world is hamstrung while less environmentally responsible producers are allowed to fill the void in the market.

Federal lands and waters are open for responsible energy development. Energy producers that operate on federal lands and waters are held to strictest environmental and safety standards. The Bureau of Land Management has a multiple-use mission for the public lands it manages – conservation, recreation, farming and ranching, and energy production can exist in tandem. In the Gulf of Mexico, offshore production provides the lowest carbon barrels of oil, generates millions of dollars in funding for parks and recreation programs, and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs.

“The bottom line is a thriving American oil and natural gas industry means increased energy and economic security at home and abroad and progress toward global emission reduction goals. Our members, U.S. oil and natural gas producers, will continue to produce record-setting, responsible oil and natural gas. We have asked for and continue to encourage this administration to meet with us to discuss how we can address domestic and global challenges, instead of them rushing to add new regulatory challenges that threaten the United States’ energy future.”

API’s response. In his statement, API President and CEO Mike Sommers urged Biden to cease political games keeping the U.S. from unleashing its energy potential.

"Ahead of the State of the Union address, we urge President Biden to abandon the partisan decisions that are jeopardizing American energy advantage – from freezing U.S. liquefied natural gas permits to imposing de facto bans on the cars Americans drive every day. It’s time for the president to put forward bipartisan solutions to harness all of America’s vast oil and natural gas resources, bolster our infrastructure, and strengthen our security," Sommers said.

A recent national poll conducted by Ipsos on behalf of API found two out of three American voters saying the country is on the wrong track on energy policy. Following the administration’s recent pause on LNG export permits, the poll found nine in 10 Americans believe the U.S. should continue to supply natural gas to our allies overseas. With recent reports that the administration plans to impose a de-facto ban on new gas-powered vehicles, the poll found that the majority of Americans (75%) would oppose such regulations restricting consumer choice.

NOIA’s State of the Union remarks. NOIA President Erik Milito emphasized the critical importance of offshore energy in shaping America's energy policy and addressing global energy needs in his statement.

Milito said, “The American offshore industry’s ongoing commitment to U.S. energy security and affordability comes at a time of significant and unnecessary policy uncertainty. Political decisions have seemingly commandeered the wheel of what should be a point of bipartisan agreement – robust American energy production is a bastion of national security, economic growth, and quality of life. We should not abandon smart energy policy in favor of partisan election politics.”

NOIA also called on President Biden to prioritize the following key areas in his State of the Union remarks:

Energy security and stability. Offshore energy, particularly in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, is essential for ensuring energy security and stability. Policymakers, regardless of party, should recognize the strategic significance of offshore resources in meeting domestic energy demands and reducing reliance on foreign sources. Gulf of Mexico oil and gas production is nearing its pre-pandemic highs of nearly 2 MMbpd, but this number can and should be higher.

Emissions reduction leadership. America's offshore industry is a leader in lower carbon oil and gas production, contributing significantly to global climate goals. The U.S. Gulf of Mexico has a carbon intensity 46% lower than the global average outside of the U.S. and Canada, outperforming adversarial nations like Russia, China, and Iran.

NOIA also emphasized the need for regular, and increased, oil and gas lease opportunities. According to the association, new leases is vital for exploring and developing resources crucial to our nation. The next Gulf of Mexico lease sale is not until 2025, at the earliest, and the current federal offshore oil and gas leasing program only includes three sales over a five-year period, a historically unprecedented action that will stifle American energy production.

Without annual opportunities for investment here in the U.S., the investment necessary to fuel the U.S. and global economies will simply shift to other parts of the world, including regions with potentially adversarial nations with lower environmental standards and higher emissions.


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