API launches campaign to make energy a bigger election issue

The American Petroleum Institute launched a nationwide campaign to get more people to vote for candidates in the 2012 election who support energy and economic growth. The campaign, “Vote 4 Energy,” will encourage voters to make energy a bigger election issue, but not endorse specific office-seekers or parties, API Pres. Jack N. Gerard said at the association’s annual State of American Energy luncheon.

“It’s not about any political party or candidate, but making energy a major part of the 2012 election discussion,” he maintained. “We won’t be picking sides or candidates. Energy should not be a partisan issue.”

Gerard said recent surveys clearly show Americans are looking for consensus, “which has, unfortunately, become rare here in Washington. Without question, in this election year, what voters are saying is: Give us leadership. Give us leaders who share our vision of a strong and prosperous America, based on our ability to create and innovate. It’s a vision that’s shared by the men and women in the US oil and gas industry.”

He said the vision is based on three main facts: The United States is energy-rich, with more potential than overseas suppliers. Oil, gas, and other energy businesses are tremendous economic contributors. And access to more domestic resources means greater national security.

‘Perfect opportunity’

“This year, an election year, presents the perfect opportunity to encourage that discussion, so we’re launching a national initiative—‘Vote 4 Energy’—that will help Americans understand what’s at stake and why energy issues should figure prominently in their voting decisions,” he explained.

The campaign will include social media to go beyond people API has reached already and target states such as Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia where there’s significant local interest in energy, Gerard said. He would not divulge how much this will cost, but said it would be a significant amount.

An electorate that is educated on energy issues will demand all candidates for every office be committed to honest, common-sense discussions on how the US can improve its energy and economic security, he said. “In making those demands, voters will be, in effect, voting for energy and for a better future for our nation,” he said.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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