OTC: Robust US energy policy needed to strengthen economy, lawmaker says

Anticipated energy demand worldwide by 2050 will be such that industry will need to produce similar levels of oil and natural gas compared with today’s production levels, panelists told the Offshore Technology Conference on May 6.

In an OTC session entitled “Global Energy Outlook: Shaping the Future,” panelists discussed how industry might help provide affordable and secure oil and gas.

US Rep. William Flores (R-Tex.) emphasized the need for a robust US energy policy to ensure the nation’s energy security and to strengthen the economy.

“All we need is for Washington to stop dragging and start pulling,” toward energy security by 2020, he said. Previously, Flores was president and chief executive officer of Phoenix Exploration Co., which was acquired by Apache Corp.

“I look now, and we have an out-of-control regulatory regime,” Flores said. Last year, he introduced a bill aiming to curb costs and regulations resulting from federal Endangered Species Act closed-door litigation settlements between the US Fish and Wildlife Service and environmental organizations (OGJ Online, Mar. 28, 2013).

“Our country is now on the cusp of becoming energy secure for the first time in decades,” Flores said. “An energy-secure United States is vital for the rest of the world.”

He called hydraulic fracturing the “battery of expanded oil production” and warned that regulatory interference with industry’s use of fracing could “totally gut the energy renaissance we are going through today.”

Christopher Smith, US Department of Energy principal deputy assistant secretary for fossil energy, noted that industry’s “goalposts are always moving” because of changing geopolitics combined with technology enabling offshore drilling in more than 10,000 ft of water.

Contact Paula Dittrick at paulad@ogjonline.com.

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