Business Roundtable calls for strategic approach to US energy policy

The Business Roundtable called for a more strategic approach to US energy policy that recognizes the technology-driven changes in domestic supplies and takes fuller advantage of the improved outlook as it issued a new report.

Powering Forward: North America’s Energy Resurgence describes significant progress the US, Canada, and Mexico have made in recent decades to increase energy production. From innovative extraction technologies to increased use of renewables, the US has been the global leader in boosting its domestic energy resources, it notes.

“The US has emerged as a global energy superpower, but national energy policy is stuck in neutral,” American Electric Power Chief Executive Nicholas K. Akins, who also chairs the Business Roundtable’s energy and environment committee, said on Nov. 17 as the organization of leading US companies’ chief executives released the 41-page report.

“We are calling on the Obama administration and Congress to adopt a more strategic approach to US energy policy, one that takes maximum advantage of North America’s energy abundance,” he said.

In addition to pointing out that the US has become the world’s foremost energy producer, the report noted that real disposable income for the average household rose by $1,200 in 2012 as a result of reduced electricity prices and expanded industrial activity associated with low natural gas prices.

Booming oil and gas production in Canada has the potential to add $700 billion in US economic output between 2010 and 2035, it added.

The report’s key recommendations included:

• Fortifying critical infrastructure by removing barriers to private sector investment, particularly with regard to pipelines and storage capacity.

• Streamlining regulatory, permitting, and approval processes to facilitate investment, while continuing to ensure public health, environmental quality, and safety.

• Increasing access to promising domestic energy resources by leasing more onshore and offshore federal acreage.

• Engaging internationally by promoting improved regional integration and access to global markets, including support for oil and gas exports.

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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