Recent developments represent a significant shift of Washington’s approach to the new reality brought by America’s energy renaissance. All signal a new embrace of safe and responsible domestic oil and natural gas development. All inherently acknowledge that growing U.S. oil and gas production can continue benefiting American consumers, businesses and manufacturers with affordable, reliable energy that supports economic growth and strengthens U.S. security – while playing the major role in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generation fall to their lowest levels in nearly 30 years.
Every day Americans head off to work or play, use a cellphone or countless other consumer products made from petroleum, they should thank a refiner. U.S. refineries are the essential link between America’s ongoing renaissance in energy production and the actual benefits Americans enjoy from that production.
Safety is a core value of the oil and natural gas industry – safety for workers, communities near active operations and the environment, from protecting plants and animals to reducing emissions for cleaner air. Safety has continued to grow since the advent of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, bringing energy development to more and more areas across the country.
There’s great opportunity to responsibly develop Alaska’s great oil and natural gas resources. This should be guided by a forward-thinking regulatory framework that prioritizes regularly scheduled lease sales as necessary to enhance U.S. energy security and maintain America’s position as a global energy superpower.
While a number of policies and actions would support America’s recent energy progress, none is more important than opening new access to oil and natural gas reserves in federally controlled areas, offshore and onshore – the latter where production has declined in recent years.
Washington is having a discussion right now about reforming the tax code, no doubt reflecting the importance of taxes and the economy during the 2016 election campaign. The right approach will seek reforms that foster job creation and economic growth, and, encouragingly, that’s what the new administration has talked about in its early days. This approach should be applied to our industry as well.