The American Petroleum Institute(API) held on January 13 its annual State of American Energy 2021(SOAE) event on a virtual edition where the organization’s President and CEO Mike Sommers made it clear that the U.S. oil and natural gas sector is crucial to powering the economy, supporting local communities, boosting national security and addressing environmental challenges.
In an interview by Amanda Eversole, API Executive Vice President and COO, Sommers talked about the API plans to work with the Biden administration. He stated that there are many instances where to find “common ground” to work together. “We’re looking forward to work with this new administration and we actually think that there are a number of places where we can find common ground”.
He mentioned two instances to illustrate the way this relationship can be managed. One of them is the methane regulation which needs important agreements to regulate it. The other area is the issue of trade. “We want to export energy across the world, because the other parts of the world should benefit from American environmental progress in particular. That progress has been really fueled by the abundance of natural gas in the country.”
However, the API CEO also referred to the difficult areas where there could be opposition with the government such as access to federal lands and federal waters “places which have provided the energy security that America needs.”
“I think the bottom line for us is we´re going to work with the Biden´s administration when we can, but we will oppose them when we must,” Sommers added to set the tone for the relationship with the new government.
The State of American Energy report details the energy policies that can help the United States build on hard-earned progress. The guidelines ask the state policymakers to lift restrictions to allow safe development across federal lands and waters, ensure that permitting processes are transparent, efficient and predictable, and also that the potential energy of the areas should be determined before withdrawing it for consideration for development.
You can read: API: The United States is again an oil exporter country
On the other hand, they pointed out energy policies that could hinder the country´s progress. For example, to ban new natural gas and oil leasing on federally controlled lands and waters, including the Outer Continental Shelf and in States like Alaska, New Mexico and North Dakota.
Energy poverty places
The virtual event was also attended by Dr. Benajmin Chavis, President, and CEO of The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) representing the African-American press of the country.
Dr. Chavis addressed the issue of equal access to energy. “The reality is that there are poverty deserts, places where we don´t get access to energy,” he said and added that “natural gas is so affordable, but we need to make sure that natural gas is accessible to all communities. And that´s why we want to overcome these energy poverty places in America.”
The State of American Energy event was complemented by the participation of relevant personalities related to the important industry. It outstands the presentation of a young professional’s roundtable. The participants work in diverse sectors of natural gas and oil industry. The conversation covered topics about how far the industry has come and what can be its future projections.