The United States Congress has assembled for the 114th session to kick off 2015. In a unique occurrence at the federal level, as well as in Ohio, republicans have now assumed the majority party in the House and Senate. Key issues expected to arise federally in 2015 are lifting the ban on U.S. crude oil exports, protecting IDCs and percentage depletion, and Endangered Species Act issues.
Last week the American Petroleum Institute (API) reported on The State of American Energy 2015 in its annual report. The report covers all sectors of energy ranging from solar energy, natural gas, hydropower, to petroleum, using government data to highlight the growth in each area. Each segment is contributing to the U.S. energy portfolio and the future has a strong outlook.
Jack Gerard, API’s CEO, says, “Today the United States is the world’s top producer of natural gas, the world’s leading refiner of petroleum products, and very soon could be the leading producer of oil. These developments are strengthening America’s energy and economic security and benefitting tens of millions of individuals.”
This is part of the larger story, coupled with rising use of renewable energy and increased oil and natural gas production; the U.S. is emerging as a global energy giant. Public policy choices that enable domestic energy opportunities will allow the U.S. to thrive, as economic growth and job creation are the backbone of energy creation.
The API report inherently starts by highlighting America’s petroleum renaissance, saying that “oil represents the lifeblood of the U.S. economy and provides more than one-third of our current energy needs—which is not expected to change significantly over the next quarter century.”
Hydraulic fracturing has brought us the technology innovations to surpass Russia in becoming the world’s largest natural gas producer (with projections of becoming a net exporter). According to the report, the natural gas industry adds about $385 billion to the national economy each year while supporting nearly 3 million jobs. In addition, the average U.S. household had an additional $1,200 in disposable incoming in 2012 from lower energy costs thanks to hydraulic fracturing—a total expected to grow to $3,500 in 2025.
Issues on the table dealing with federal policy are expediting the approval of liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities and exports. To maximize the domestic supply of natural gas, the U.S. needs to act quickly and join the global race in building infrastructure and allowing for exports. API projects with the U.S. becoming an exporter, a reduction in the nation’s trade deficit, increased government revenue, a growing the economy with millions of jobs. Gerard concludes, “With our abundant array of resources, technological expertise and skilled workforce, the United States stands on the threshold of energy self-sufficiency at a level unthinkable just a few years ago. With America’s diverse and plentiful range of resources, our energy renaissance is only beginning.”