Petroleum and natural gas are used to fuel transportation, generate electricity, heat homes, provide feedstock for chemical processes, and many other things. These fuels together account for about two-thirds of all the energy consumed in the United States. After declining for decades, production of oil and gas has increased rapidly since 2005 thanks to the industry’s ability to produce greater volumes of these products from shale formations using advanced technologies like hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, and advanced 3-D subterranean computer imaging. Because of these innovations, the United States is now the world’s largest producer of both fuels, something unimaginable at the turn of the 21st century.
Greater production has transformed state and regional economies throughout the United States, both in places long associated with oil and gas production like Texas and those that have recently emerged as leading producers like North Dakota and Pennsylvania. New industries are also materializing to take advantage of the increasing availability and low price for these commodities. Greater production also has transformed the global markets for these fuels. Instead of importing ever larger volumes of these fuels, the United States now exports large volumes, a previously unexpected turn of events paying tremendous economic and geopolitical dividends.
Sustaining this revolution in oil and gas production should be a national priority, starting with a policy environment that welcomes investment, risk-taking, and job creation. It is important for our infrastructure to keep pace. New pipelines are needed to move these products to intermediate and end markets, but “Keep It in the Ground” activists are working to stop these essential systems from being built.
GEI advocates for permit streamlining and other reforms to ensure that the United States can take full advantage of its energy resources. In addition to our large shale formations, significant reserves of oil and gas are located on federal lands, both onshore and offshore. GEI continues to support a clear and consistent regulatory framework to incentivize the responsible development of these resources.
The Chamber supports the continued reductions of methane emissions, both voluntarily and by direct regulation under the Clean Air Act. Such regulation must be smart and follow the appropriate process under the Clean Air Act for regulating methane as a pollutant and not be duplicative of existing regulations while preserving state regulatory programs. Additionally, regulations must encourage innovative solutions by not prescribing technologies and be solely focused on the detection and reduction of emissions in the U.S.