As the 2012 presidential race is reaching its close, I urge voters to consider energy policy as a top priority at the polls. The oil and gas industry is not only a powerful economic driver and job creator, but is also critically important to our national security. America’s economic future depends on a strong energy policy. That can only happen with the next administration working collaboratively with industry.
The oil and gas industry has faced challenges over the last four years with the current administration. Continuous attempts to hinder production are evidenced by the prolonged moratorium, the resulting permitorium, and attacks on hydraulic fracturing. On the manufacturing front, we have seen onerous EPA regulations that threaten the industry. In spite of these obstacles, the energy industry has never been more committed to providing safe, reliable energy for this country.
The president has consistently referred to oil and gas as “yesterday’s energy,” but one cannot ignore the fact that fossil fuels supply 80 percent of our energy consumption and will continue to provide the vast majority of our energy needs for decades to come.
Throughout the campaign and during the debates, we have seen a lot of misinformation about the president’s stance on energy. Oil and gas production has increased under this administration, but only because of increased drilling on private lands. Expanded access to federal lands and waters will drive economic growth and spur job creation.
The industry is supportive of an appropriate regulatory regime, but we cannot support over-burdensome, unnecessary regulations that prevent economic development and discourage business investment.
Nobody understands the power of the oil and gas industry better than Louisianans. Combined, Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico provide nearly 30 percent of the nation’s oil. In our state alone, industry has an over $77 billion impact on the state’s economy and supports over 300,000 quality, high wage jobs. Going forward, we need policies that encourage increased production and streamline permitting processes, with a sensible approach to regulation and a sound tax policy.
Going into the next term, LMOGA’s position remains the same. We need a strong, long-term energy policy that spurs investment and promotes American business. The oil and gas industry is dedicated to working with Washington leaders to continue providing the energy that fuels America. The choice is clear; a vote on behalf of American energy is a vote for economic prosperity.