API wants to 'change the conversation' under Trump, Pruitt

By Spencer Chase, AgriPulse.

WASHINGTON, Jan. 4, 2017 - American Petroleum Institute CEO Jack Gerard sees 2017 as a big moment in the life of the energy industry, and he hopes he has allies in the incoming administration.

Speaking at API's annual state of American energy event in Washington, Gerard said the industry is poised to have a banner 2017, but only if Congress and the administration permit it.

“For the first time in our lifetime, we can now say that North America has the potential to become a net energy exporter,” Gerard said in his speech. “That's a revolutionary change, a significant shift from where we were just a few short years ago.”

Gerard said for that to happen, the energy industry - oil and gas production in particular - will need help in the form of regulatory relief. He said there have been 145 “regulations and other executive actions” the industry has been subjected to in the “last few years,” but the new year and a new Congress provide “an opportunity to change the national conversation.”

“We need to look at the regulatory regimes be it the Endangered Species Act or (the National Environmental Policy Act), whatever it might be to determine what needs to be done to regulate smartly and with common sense, but yet achieve our potential as a world energy superpower,” Gerard told reporters after his speech.

One thing API will continue to fight into the future is the Renewable Fuel Standard, a policy requiring the increased use of ethanol and other renewable fuels in the American fuel supply. API and other oil and gas groups have been opposed to increases in RFS requirements, proposing instead to cap renewable fuel blending requirements at 9.7 percent of gasoline demand.