Congress could tackle legislation important to energy, Gerard says

American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard expressed confidence that the 115th Congress could pass important energy legislation before yearend because the oil and gas industry is so essential to the general US economy. “If it wasn’t apparent before, it became obvious the past 2 weeks during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” he told OGJ during a Sept. 13 reception that API hosted on Capitol Hill.

American Petroleum Institute Pres. Jack N. Gerard expressed confidence that the 115th Congress could pass important energy legislation before yearend because the oil and gas industry is so essential to the general US economy. “If it wasn’t apparent before, it became obvious the past 2 weeks during Hurricanes Harvey and Irma,” he told OGJ during a Sept. 13 reception that API hosted on Capitol Hill.

“Oil and gas underlies everything we do in society. We don’t think about this much normally, but when we have natural disasters such as these hurricanes, we realize how interconnected this industry is from production through transportation to refining and petrochemicals,” Gerard said.

Federal tax reform is the biggest issue lawmakers need to address, he said following brief remarks at the reception which continued “Power Past Impossible,” the campaign API introduced in April to educate voters and consumers about the oil and gas industry’s economic contributions in all 50 states. Gerard said it’s important to keep all US industries competitive globally, not just oil and gas.

Abundant, low-cost natural gas has helped the chemical industry in his eastern Harris County district grow significantly in the last 5 years, noted Rep. Gene Green (D-Tex.), a member of the US House Energy and Commerce Committee who also spoke briefly at the API event. “If you drive down I-10 or Route 225, you’ll see tons of cranes because chemical plants are expanding dramatically,” he said.

Green said that House Democrats and Republicans from producing states realized an important goal when they got the House to approve a bill to standardize cross-border permitting processes for pipelines and power lines. “I hope the Senate takes it up because it would send the right signal to our neighbors in Canada and Mexico,” he said. “We especially need to export more gas to Mexico.”

Contact Nick Snow at nicks@pennwell.com.

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