API’s Cavaney, The State of the Energy Industry

By January 16, 2008General

Red Cavaney, the president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, prepared remarks for release today at the 4th Annual USEA State of the Energy Industry Forum. You can read the prepared text here.

One of the industry’s continuing problems: The public do not have a good grasp of all the realities faced by oil and gas producers.

Crude oil and gasoline prices underscore a major obstacle to addressing our nation’s energy challenges: the public’s lack of understanding about energy, particularly oil and natural gas. People are understandably concerned about energy prices. Unfortunately, however, they do not understand that price volatility is actually a symptom of the energy problems confronting our nation. We have massive energy resources here in the United States and worldwide; we have a wealth of energy information and analysis; and we have a wide array of energy studies and research. What we don’t have is public awareness and opinion-leader understanding of the need for energy and what it takes to find, develop and deliver affordable fuels reliably to customers.

Cavaney cites a public opinion survey conducted last year by Harris Interactive, which revealed such discouraging news as only one in 10 people recognizing that Canada was our No. 1 supplier of foreign oil. Nearly 60 percent thought Saudi Arabia.

We’d add that it’s this lack of understanding of the real world of energy allows elected officials to address exactly the wrong issues, resulting in things like an “energy bill” that does nothing to increase domestic supplies of oil and gas.

Cavaney concludes:

What we need is a public policy framework to ensure future energy security for our nation. We need elected and appointed officials who understand the energy challenges we face. We need a greater commitment to increased energy efficiency. We need to diversify our energy resources, drawing upon the full range of energy sources, including alternatives. We also need to increase and diversify our oil and natural gas supplies, both within this country and abroad. And, we need to enhance energy technologies, remaining on the cutting edge of advanced technology. We need to get it right on energy. Too much is at stake for our nation to do otherwise.

Right.

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