WASHINGTON, Jan. 25, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard said President Obama's State of the Union address tonight missed an opportunity to highlight real job creation and economic recovery opportunities.
"The American people spoke loud and clear in the last election and directed the President and new Congress to focus on one main issue-job creation. It's unfortunate that the administration seems poised to stifle what remains one of America's strongest job creating industries.
"Tonight was a missed opportunity. The President focused on job growth through federal spending, but was silent on one of the best ways to create jobs: allow more energy development. Natural gas and renewables are important components of our energy mix, but we will need our nation's vast oil resources for decades to come. The oil and natural gas industry is a key driver of new jobs and economic prosperity Producing more oil and gas at home, which most Americans want, could create hundreds of thousands of jobs, reduce our deficit by billions, and enhance our energy security. Even better, the government wouldn't have to invest a single taxpayer dollar - just give industry a green light to invest its own money.
"The U.S. oil and natural gas industry also pays taxes at effective rates far higher than most other industries, and does not receive payments from the government to support oil and gas development. The tax deductions it does receive are similar to those enjoyed by other industries to encourage energy production and new jobs. We need policies that help the 9.2 million hardworking men and women in the industry, not hurt them.
"The industry also invests in low- and zero-carbon emission technologies, such as wind, solar, and geothermal technologies. Total industry investment in these forms of energy - over $58 billion dollars from 2000 to 2008 - are more than the federal government and more than all other industries combined. However, the energy reality is that we need to continue investing in all forms of energy, and we are standing ready to help us get back on track.
"The oil and natural gas industry provides over 60 percent of America's energy, and it will continue to be the energy leader for decades to come. We need to produce U.S. oil and natural gas resources. This means getting back to work in the Gulf of Mexico, access in Alaska, and opening up the Atlantic and Pacific coastal areas to exploration. This is an issue the President and the new Congress should address."
API represents more than 450 oil and natural gas companies, leaders of a technology-driven industry that supplies most of America's energy, supports more than 9.2 million U.S. jobs and 7.5 percent of the U.S. economy, and, since 2000, has invested nearly $2 trillion in U.S. capital projects to advance all forms of energy, including alternatives, while reducing the industry's environmental footprint.
SOURCE American Petroleum Institute