What to expect on energy in a second Obama term? Reuters has a pair of analyses, here and here, predicting tougher federal regulation of oil and natural gas, new restrictions on natural gas production and use, continued tight access to reserves on federal lands and waters and a renewed push for higher taxes on energy companies.
Let’s hope not. More regulation, unreasonable drilling restrictions and higher taxes probably would mean less energy produced, job losses and less revenue to governments, according to Wood Mackenzie’s 2011 study. Meanwhile, new, unnecessary federal regulation of hydraulic fracturing could limit the potential of oil and natural gas produced from shale – a key to American energy security and perhaps the president’s best chance to achieve his goals of reducing oil imports and emissions of carbon dioxide.
The oil and natural gas industry is ready to continuing working with the administration to bring about increased domestic oil and gas production, more jobs and economic growth. With the election over, the president can:
- Approve the full Keystone XL pipeline, immediately putting thousands of Americans to work while strengthening our energy partnership with Canada.
- Signal he supports capitalizing on America’s shale energy resources by reining in more than 10 federal agencies that are reviewing or considering restrictions or new regulations on hydraulic fracturing. Specifically, the president could curb EPA plans to impose unnecessary and duplicative federal regulatory burdens that could cost businesses hundreds of billions of dollars.
- Underscore his support for reducing federal red tape by streamlining federal permitting processes for onshore and offshore energy development, which cause needless delay and chill energy investment.
- Revisit his administration’s offshore drilling plan and include more areas off America’s coasts for development. Currently, more than 85 percent of our outer continental shelf remains closed to energy exploration.
No question, there are opponents to increasing domestic oil and natural gas production and the use of more Canadian oil sands crude. For example, some already are signaling they want the administration to reject the Keystone XL once and for all.
Making America more energy secure will require bold, visionary leadership. It starts by recognizing that our economy and standard of living are largely supported by oil and natural gas – and will be for decades to come even with important contributions from wind, solar, biofuels and other energy sources. It means implementing policies that will develop America’s vast energy riches, create jobs and generate revenue for governments. API President and CEO Jack Gerard:
“We look forward to continuing our work with the president and helping him fulfill his campaign promise to increase domestic oil and natural gas production that will create American jobs and strengthen our economy. With both candidates supporting more development of America’s vast oil and natural gas resources, energy is a big winner in this election. The domestic energy from shale boom is just beginning. We have an unprecedented opportunity to work together to create millions of new jobs, generate hundreds of billions of dollars for our government, and strengthen our energy and national security.”