API: More domestic energy access needed

Jan. 25, 2012 at 7:56 AM
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WASHINGTON, Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Estimates about increased oil and natural gas production in the United States are welcome news but short of what's possible, a key trade group said.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration in its 2012 outlook predicted a general increase in the amount of oil and natural gas produced domestically through 2035.

Jack Gerard, president and chief executive officer at the American Petroleum Institute, said the EIA predictions were welcome news but fell short of what's possible.

"The increases in domestic oil and gas production forecast by EIA will mean added jobs, revenue and energy security," he said in a statement. "This is progress but it falls far short of what we could do with greater access to domestic supplies and sounder regulatory policies."

API and its supporters have accused the White House of throwing up roadblocks to domestic oil and natural gas production. Gerard said the U.S. economy could be "hemorrhaging" for "decades to come" unless the administration reversed course by favoring domestic oil and natural gas development.

In the State of the Union address Tuesday, President Barack Obama said U.S. production was at its highest level in nearly a decade.

"Over the last three years, we've opened millions of new acres for oil and gas exploration, and tonight, I'm directing my administration to open more than 75 percent of our potential offshore oil and gas resources," he said.

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