Yesterday before the Energy and Power Subcommittee, the CEO of American Petroleum Institute, Jack Gerard, told Congress (PDF of Testimony) that while some believe that there’s nothing we can do to lower energy prices because they are driven by global events, he says “that’s just not so.”
Americans are understandably frustrated by rising fuel prices, the result of a weak energy policy. America is an energy-rich nation, one of the world’s richest, yet too many talk like we’re powerless to do anything but watch global events drive energy costs higher, and that there are no solutions.
Members of the committee, that’s just not so. With sound policy and bold leadership, we can put this country’s vast resources to work to change the current energy equation.
Gasoline prices are climbing primarily because the cost of crude oil — which accounts for 76 percent of the price at the pump — also has been rising, pushed higher by global demand and Middle East tensions. These market forces are challenging, but America doesn’t have to be held captive by them.
We have choices. By increasing access to North American energy, we will help put downward pressure on fuel prices.
Supply matters. That’s not just API saying so. It’s others asking the Saudis to produce more, it’s others seeking new suppliers – like Brazil – it’s talk of another release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
He continues to explain what we can actually do to lower the cost of energy prices:
A strategy that confidently deploys resources here at home will send a clear message to global markets that the United States is serious about affecting supply. To the American people it will say help’s on the way.
We can send that message right away by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, which would bring 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada. We could expand access to our own supplies – offshore and onshore – by allowing new exploration and development on federal lands that currently are off limits. …
The effect of greater access is no mystery. Look at what’s happening on state and private lands. Shale plays in North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas are game changers – creating jobs, helping consumers, generating revenue to government and producing record levels of oil and natural gas. …
Over the next two decades we could add the equivalent of 10 million barrels of oil per day to supply our energy needs. Markets built on expectations would see that America plans to be an energy leader, not a follower.
He’s basically affirming much of what Newt has been saying in his campaign to lower the price of gasoline to $2.50. It’s about supply, and we must increase our production to add to the global supply.
But Obama is out there saying there’s no quick fixes, that we can’t drill our way to lower gas prices and if someone tells you that they are lying to you. Let me remind you:
While Obama is lying to the American people about our much needed energy solutions, Gerard is calling out the Obama administration in his testimony before Congress on what he says is a weak energy policy:
But current policies block this vision. API agrees with the call for an all-of-the-above energy approach, but we’re seeing actions that hinder oil and natural gas at nearly every turn.
The administration is saying one thing, doing another and sending mixed signals to the markets.
The administration says it is for more oil and gas, but rejects the Keystone XL pipeline. It says it is boosting domestic production onshore, but new leasing on federal lands is down 44 percent, and the number of new wells drilled is down 39 percent. It says it is opening offshore areas but the latest plan keeps 87 percent of these areas off limits. It says oil and gas activity in the Gulf of Mexico is back to normal, but the latest forecast says production this year will be down nearly 21 percent from 2010. It says it is for natural gas, but 10 federal agencies are looking at new regulations that could needlessly restrict it. It calls for “all-of-the-above” then threatens the companies that could lead an energy renaissance with $85 billion in discriminatory tax increases.
Mr. Chairman, this is sending the wrong message to the global markets. This needs to change.
If I were you I’d memorize the above section so you can adequately explain to your friends what the oil and gas industry is telling us regarding the Obama administration energy policies. We need good information this year to fight the lies coming from Obama and his propagandist media.
The Energy and Power Subcommittee published a short video from this hearing of a Q&A with Gerard and Rep. Mike Pompeo that is very informative. Gerard tells Rep. Pompeo that just the announcement by George W. Bush in 2008 that he was going to open the outer continental shelf for oil drilling dropped the price of oil $15 per barrel over three days:
There’s an experience we have in July of 2008 that was alluded to earlier that we ought to go back and look closely at. The price of crude oil drove to $145/barrel. Then-President Bush announced the opening of the outer continental shelf and lifted the moratorium. The price of crude oil over three days dropped $15/barrel and continued to move down.
Markets are driven on a global basis by expectation. If the market heard the President of the United States say I’m serious about producing my vast energy resources, you will see an impact in the market.
Here’s the full clip:
It’s clear what we have to do to get energy costs down and it can be summed up in a famous refrain: Drill baby drill!