API: Election results reflect strong voter support for energy

The results of the 2016 US general elections reflect strong voter support for more oil and gas development, American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard said. An election night survey of 890 voters nationwide that API commissioned found that a majority would like to see more US oil and gas supplies developed, he told reporters in a Nov. 10 teleconference.

“Voters want a Congress and administration that works for their interests. And just as there is bipartisan voter support for energy priorities, there is an opportunity for Republicans and Democrats in Congress to work toward prodevelopment policies that provide economic growth, job creation, and energy security,” Gerard said.

Preventing regulatory overreach should be a top priority since the US oil and gas industry faces 145 regulations or other policy-setting activities which could discourage production, he said.

“A combination of industry innovation, market forces, and existing standards has proven effective for keeping hydraulic fracturing safe and reducing emissions of ozone, methane, and carbon,” Gerard said. “In fact, the US leads the world in reduction of carbon emissions, with clean-burning natural gas driving emissions in the power sector to 25-year lows.”

Gerard noted that 77% of the survey’s respondents support a national energy policy that ensures a secure supply of abundant, affordable, and available energy for the American people in an environmentally responsible manner.

“That description serves both as a good summary of what the American energy revolution is accomplishing, and as a guiding principle for the next administration’s energy policy,” Gerard said.

The survey also found that:

• 81% of respondents support increased development of the country’s energy infrastructure.

• 75% expressed concern about government requirements that would increase the amount of ethanol in gasoline.

• 72% oppose higher taxes that could decrease investment in energy production and reduce energy development.

• 77% percent support natural gas’s role in reducing greenhouse gases.

• 92% consider it important that gasoline and diesel fuels are helping reduce air pollution.

• 77% oppose legislation that could increase the cost of US oil and gas operations and thus potentially drive up consumer costs.

Asked about possible implications of Republicans retaining control of both of Houses of Congress as their nominee, Donald J. Trump, won the presidency, Gerard said: “The American people spoke out loud and clear. I think everyone was surprised by what the voters wanted. With a Republican Senate and House, I think there’s an opportunity to come together, but I also think it’s important to listen closely to what the voters had to say.

“Our counsel to the congressional committee chairs and ranking minority members would be to consider how we would continue the American energy renaissance while protecting the environment and continuing to deliver energy at affordable prices,” he said. “I think the implication of having Republicans in charge is driven by what the voters said. We want to focus on redundant regulations and taking more positive steps.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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