Challenge: Getting more Americans to see themselves as energy-issue voters in 2012.
Solution: API’s Vote 4 Energy campaign, launched today at the second State of American Energy event at Washington, D.C.’s Newseum.
In a keynote speech President and CEO Jack Gerard framed the energy-related issues upon which API hopes to engage Americans with the new informational campaign:
- America as an energy-rich nation.
- America’s oil and natural gas industry as a tremendous catalyst for job creation, economic growth and energy production.
- Energy as key to America’s future security.
Americans will base their votes this year on a number of things, but none is more important than the energy that runs our economy and sustains our way of life. Gerard:
“The Energy Information Administration predicts the world will need 45 percent more energy in 2035 – and the U.S. will need 16 percent more. To get there, we’ll need a lot more renewable energy, but also more fossil fuels. And despite rapidly expanding renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, we’ll still need oil and natural gas to supply more than half our energy.”
The industry already is proving its ability to create jobs and stimulate the larger economy. Gerard:
“One in seven of today’s recent college graduates live at home today because they can’t find good jobs. In North Dakota, young people working in oil and gas hold jobs that pay more than their parents earn. The average oil and gas salary in North Dakota is more than $90,000 a year – more than double the state average. In Pennsylvania, Governor Corbett’s staff told me that shale gas development generated more than 90,000 jobs between 2009 and 2011. That development has also generated many millions of dollars of revenue to the state treasury.”
One vision for America’s energy future is of opportunity and growth. The other is of shrinking options and limited vision. That’s the vision behind delaying the Keystone XL pipeline, limiting access to offshore and onshore domestic resources and an incoherent approach to the country’s vast natural gas reserves. Gerard:
“Frankly, this vision and its policies are disconnected from current economic and energy reality, which is a landscape of global economic struggles and geopolitical challenges. This vision ignores the jobs and the energy that could be produced here in the U.S. Instead, it’s on a course for less energy, not more. These policies are failing us.”
Enter Vote 4 Energy, designed to be decidedly non-partisan, non-ideological. Gerard:
“Vote 4 Energy will help Americans understand what’s at stake and why energy issues should figure prominently in their voting decisions. Vote 4 Energy is not about a political party—it’s not even about candidates. We are going to encourage voters, all voters, to make energy a voting issue. … We’ll hold up our end: through information distributed through our state networks, through grass roots outreach to millions of voters, and through conversations like the one we’re having here today.”