Hot on the heels of us rolling out our “Energy Security for American Competitiveness” plan last week, the American Petroleum Institute (API) unveiled a complementary effort, “‘Delivering America’s Energy Security” at the National Press Club yesterday.
In fact, it was just last month that we moseyed on over to the Press Club for a small gathering of our association colleagues to hear from one of the deans of the association world, Red Cavaney, President of the API. At that lunch, he gave us a bit of a preview of their new effort. There are few industries that have been as buffeted by political winds as the energy industry and few industries that are as poorly understood — the latter which Cavaney readily admits is a daunting challenge. Something about the basic law of supply and demand that seems to elude the press, the public and the Congress.
Cavaney sounded the themes of efficiency, technology and diversity. Manufacturers lead the way in efficiency, of course, as we invent and make all the new efficient technology. As for “diversity”, it means diversifying our energy supply, a concept we favor as well. Some of Cavaney’s most salient and important points:
We care about all of this, of course, as one of the biggest consumers of energy in the country, if not the biggest. As Cavaney pointed out, 96% of all manufactured goods have oil or gas in their lineage. We are on the front lines of the stiffest global competition the world has seen and our competitors don’t limit access to any of their natural resources. This all makes it harder for US manufacturers to compete. And, it’s something Congress can address today if they want. Or they can just go on making big pro-manufacturing speeches.
One of the pillars of the NAM’s energy plan rolled out last week is to increase the public’s “Energy IQ,” as NAM President John Engler likes to call it. Red Cavaney’s efforts on behalf of API begin that process in earnest, but we have far to go. Let’s hope policy makers will be open-minded enough to get the facts before they rush in with more draconian solutions. The last boneheaded idea in the 80’s — the windfall profits tax — saw domestic production drop by 1.25 billion barrels (and saw most of the jobs go with it) and saw imports rise by 13%. Congress would do well to educate itself on the economics of the energy business and reject the “ready, fire, aim” approach that’s dominated the debate thus far.
Here’s a link to Cavaney’s speech, here’s a link to his slides and here’s a link to their new website, unveiled yesterday as well, where you can find this information and much more. If we hope to educate our Members of Congress, we need to start by educating ourselves. We hope you’ll do your part to boost everyone’s energy IQ. Our work begins there.
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