Oil, gas industry groups respond to Obama's reelection

This article was updated Nov. 7.

Leading US oil and natural gas trade associations said they were looking forward to working with a second Barack Obama administration after the president won reelection on Nov. 6. Several leaders of the groups suggested growing public awareness of the nation’s improved oil and gas outlook will influence policy decisions in the next 4 years.

“Americans have made their decision,” American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard said on Nov. 7. “We look forward to continuing our work with the president and helping him fulfill his campaign promise to increase domestic oil and gas production that will create American jobs and strengthen our economy.”

Gerard continued, “With both candidates supporting more development of America’s vast oil and gas resources, energy is a big winner in this election.” Obama could take a positive early step by promptly approving the Keystone XL crude oil pipeline project’s cross-border application which would provide thousands of new US jobs immediately, Gerard said.

Independent Petroleum Association of America Pres. Virginia Lazenby said IPAA appreciates Obama’s affirmation of US gas resources sufficient to meet the nation’s needs for more than 100 years.

“However, IPAA has serious concerns about energy policies the Obama administration has implemented over the past 4 years which, taken together, demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of [the US oil and gas industry],” she said. US independents encourage Obama to reexamine those policies and the assumptions behind them, Lazenby said.

Gas industry comments

Leaders of gas industry associations also said they were encouraged by the president and his administration’s statements about the fuel’s potential growth and contributions to the US economy.

“It is only through smart, efficient policies and coordination with policymakers at all levels that we will be able to meet our nation’s energy goals, and there is no doubt natural gas has a significant role in our energy future,” American Gas Association Pres. Dave McCurdy said. “The president has advanced policies to help realize the realities of what this domestic fuel can do for our nation, but there is still significant room for greater use of gas to help meet our nation’s energy goals.”

Kathryn Z. Klaber, president of the Marcellus Shale Coalition in Pittsburgh, said MSC and its members also look forward to working with the administration and Congress over the next 4 years. “We also, of course, are eager to continue our important work with the elected officials in Harrisburg and Washington, especially newly elected members of the general assembly, as well as those at the county and local level across the commonwealth,” she said on Nov. 7.

“The natural gas pipeline industry looks forward to working with President Obama and the new Congress to ensure that legislation and regulation does not hinder the development of natural gas and the pipeline infrastructure needed to transport this abundant, clean-burning domestic fuel,” Interstate Natural Gas Association of America Pres. Donald F. Santa said.

Crude oil pipeline owners and operators also are ready to work with Obama and the 113th Congress to safely expand pipeline infrastructure in the US, Association of Oil Pipelines Pres. Andrew J. Black told OGJ in a Nov. 7 e-mail. He cited Obama’s comments in Cushing, Okla., last March that US infrastructure needs are particularly acute right now, and US pipeline infrastructure must be made a priority.

Revise attitudes

Other oil and gas association leaders tempered their congratulations to the 2012 presidential and congressional election victors with calls for different policies and assumptions.

“We hope that in his second term, the president will truly work to advance an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy that recognizes the importance of domestic energy resources and fuel and petrochemical manufacturers in rebuilding our nation’s economy,” American Fuel & Petrochemical Manufacturers Pres. Charles T. Drevna said on Nov. 7.

Drevna urged Obama to take actions during his second term to ensure the US becomes a major global energy force. “Such actions should include regulatory reforms necessary to maintain a strong American energy sector and immediately approving the Keystone XL Pipeline, which will create thousands of domestic jobs,” he said.

Tim Wigley, president of the Western Energy Alliance in Denver, told OGJ: “Unfortunately, the outcome of this election will continue to slow our economic growth because of stalled energy policies and job-killing over-regulation. We hope the Obama administration will look at some of the policy ideas brought forth during the campaign, such as delegating more responsibility for oil and gas development to the states, and achieving a balance between regulation and economic growth, which has been missing the last 4 years.”

Bruce Thompson, president of the American Exploration & Production Council in Washington, said the association and the 32 larger independent producers who are its members hope the Obama administration will change its approach to the US oil and gas industry.

“AXPC's members and other independent producers are responsible for the growing supply of American energy that has been one of the few economic bright spots over the past four years,” he told OGJ. “We look forward to working with the administration and congress to be sure that we avoid the enactment of tax and regulatory policies that would slow the development of America's energy resources at this critical time in our efforts to get our economy moving forward.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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