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API president in Cleveland calls for better energy policies

Policies are outdated given the advances in U.S. shale basins, Jack Gerard says.

By Daniel J. Graeber
Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said from the Republican Party convention in Cleveland that energy policies were out of date. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/541850ecf2f34e3ba7d0f63849c60b7f/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, said from the Republican Party convention in Cleveland that energy policies were out of date. File photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

CLEVELAND, July 19 (UPI) -- With U.S. oil production up more than 80 percent from a decade ago, the American Petroleum Institute called for national leaders to support that momentum.

Jack Gerard, the president and chief executive officer at the API, said during the Republican Party convention in Cleveland that U.S. oil production was up 85 percent over the last 10 years. This, he said, was largely due to advances in drilling technologies used in shale basins in the Lower 48 states.

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"We need energy policies that are keeping up with the times, supporting job creation, and bringing benefits to consumers," he said in a statement from the sidelines of the convention.

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The United States under outgoing President Barack Obama has come to rival Saudi Arabia as a top oil producer. The glut of oil has led to a steep drop in energy prices, creating a de facto form of stimulus for U.S. consumers.

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Last year, the industry scored a victory in the form of an end to a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports, but suffered a loss with the president's denial of a permit to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline across the Canadian border into the United States.

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Gerard said the Obama administration has launched an "onslaught" on the industry in the form of strict federal regulations. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, meanwhile, said he'd end U.S. oil imports from overseas, approve Keystone XL and remove obstacles standing in the way of further exploration.

Analysts have critiqued some of Trump's comments, noting that, without oil from the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries, U.S. oil companies would either need to increase production by as much as 36 million barrels per month to make up the difference, or find another supplier. Alliances with countries like Saudi Arabia, meanwhile, could be in jeopardy without economic ties reaching to oil.

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Adopting an American energy first platform, Trump said rival Hillary Clinton would wage war against the U.S. oil and gas industry, push the sector further away from coal and "unleash the Environmental Protection Agency to control every aspect of our lives."

Clinton, a former New York senator and U.S. secretary of state, has unveiled conditions ranging from public support to the disclosure of chemicals used in hydraulic fracturing fluid before she'd support the drilling practice as a U.S. president. Natural gas, she said, should be viewed as a bridge to a low-carbon economy.

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