With the 2012 presidential campaign in full swing following the Iowa caucuses, the API said there needs to be a political debate about the future of the U.S. energy sector.
API President Jack Gerard during a speech from Washington said that energy needs to be an important part of the national debate.
The API last year threw its support behind such controversial energy issues as shale natural gas and the planned Keystone XL pipeline. Opponents of shale say the chemicals used to extract natural gas from underground rock formations are dangerous to ground water supplies. Environmental groups describe so-called tar sands oil, the type of crude oil that would flow through Keystone, as the dirtiest type of oil.
Gerard, however, said the debate shouldn't be a this-or-that argument exclusively.
"We need all of our resources -- oil and natural gas, coal, nuclear, wind, solar, biofuels and more," he said. "Only through smart, realistic deployment of all of America's energy assets can we realize our goal of keeping this country energy secure."
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