API unveils ten-point policy plan to restore U.S. energy leadership, fuel economic recovery
By Philip McCarty
June 15, 2022 - It should be clear to everyone that access to oil and natural gas are important to the economic stability and safety of every country. Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the United States has been reminded of how dependent we really are on outside supplies for the fuel that runs our economy. Were this an isolated incident we could probably ignore it. However, it seems like every few years, or at least once a decade, we find ourselves in the midst of an energy crisis due to some action by a group or country outside the United States. The result is an economy that goes into free-fall.
In an attempt to counteract dependence on foreign suppliers, and to bring stability and security to our energy status within the United States, the American Petroleum Institute (API) has sent a letter to President Biden proposing ten actions policy makers can achieve now. The API was formed in 1919 as a standard-setting organization and has developed more than 800 standards to enhance operational safety, efficiency and sustainability. Quoting from their press release, the ten actions are:
1. Lift Development Restrictions on Federal Lands and Waters
The Department of the Interior (DOI) should swiftly issue a 5-year program for the Outer Continental Shelf and hold mandated quarterly onshore lease sales with equitable terms. DOI should reinstate canceled sales and valid leases on federal lands and waters.
2. Designate Critical Energy Infrastructure Projects
Congress should authorize critical energy infrastructure projects to support the production, processing and delivery of energy. These projects would be of such concern to the national interest that they would be entitled to undergo a streamlined review and permitting process not to exceed one year.
3. Fix the NEPA Permitting Process
The Biden administration should revise the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process by establishing agency uniformity in reviews, limiting reviews to two years, and reducing bureaucratic burdens placed on project proponents in terms of size and scope of application submissions.
4. Accelerate LNG Exports and Approve Pending LNG Applications
Congress should amend the Natural Gas Act to streamline the Department of Energy (DOE) to a single approval process for all U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. DOE should approve pending LNG applications to enable the U.S. to deliver reliable energy to our allies abroad.
5. Unlock Investment and Access to Capital
The Securities and Exchange Commission should reconsider its overly burdensome and ineffective climate disclosure proposal and the Biden administration should ensure open capital markets where access is based upon individual company merit free from artificial constraints based on government-preferred investment allocations.
6. Dismantle Supply Chain Bottlenecks
President Biden should rescind steel tariffs that remain on imports from U.S. allies as steel is a critical component of energy production, transportation, and refining. The Biden administration should accelerate efforts to relieve port congestion so that equipment necessary for energy development can be delivered and installed.
7. Advance Lower Carbon Energy Tax Provisions
Congress should expand and extend Section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, utilization, and storage development and create a new tax credit for hydrogen produced from all sources.
8. Protect Competition in the Use of Refining Technologies
The Biden administration should ensure that future federal agency rulemakings continue to allow U.S. refineries to use the existing critical process technologies to produce the fuels needed for global energy markets.
9. End Permitting Obstruction on Natural Gas Projects
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should cease efforts to overstep its permitting authority under the Natural Gas Act and should adhere to traditional considerations of public needs as well as focus on direct impacts arising from the construction and operation of natural gas projects.
10. Advance the Energy Workforce of the Future
Congress and the Biden administration should support the training and education of a diverse workforce through increased funding of work-based learning and advancement of STEM programs to nurture the skills necessary to construct and operate oil, natural gas and other energy infrastructure.
“America is blessed with abundant energy resources that are the envy of the world. Given today’s global unrest and economic uncertainty, American energy is a long-term strategic asset that can advance our national and economic security,” said API President and CEO Mike Sommers. “These 10 in ’22 policies are a framework for new energy leadership for our nation, unleashing investment in America and creating new energy access while avoiding harmful government policies and duplicative regulation. It’s time to lead.”