Following an ongoing energy crisis that has seen fuel prices soar both in Florida and across the country, the American Petroleum Institute sent a letter to the President Biden’s office with ten “immediate steps” the organization recommends to help increase energy supply.
The API is a trade association for oil and natural gas industries, claiming to represent nearly 600 corporations involved in either production, refinement, distribution and other fields in the petroleum industry.
To its June letter — titled the “10 in 2022 Plan” — the API asked government officials according to implement specific policy changes that it said will increase supply and help lower prices for fuel.
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One such step the letter suggests is to lift development restrictions on federal lands and water, which would provide companies with more opportunities to drill.
API Gulf Coast Region Director Gifford Briggs told News 6 that current government energy policies have prevented companies from producing more fuel.
“Once the administration came in, they made a number of decisions regarding energy policy — the most well known being the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline,” Briggs said. “Since then, we’ve seen consistent regulatory delays, specifically as it applies to other pipeline projects, (liquefied natural gas) projects, that are necessary to support the energy industry.”
With government policies targeting these industries, Briggs explained, companies lose confidence and turn away from building up infrastructure, leading to less energy production. Briggs pointed to construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline as an example, which was canceled by the president in 2021 following his inauguration.
“As companies are planning additional pipelines or (liquefied natural gas) projects or even exploration of production in the Gulf of Mexico or in Alaska, they’re going to be very wary of making those decisions,” he said. “Because they’re not going to be sure the administration is going to take the same action towards their projects.”
While there are approximately 9,000 permits that have been approved, Briggs said that not all of the land granted under those permits has been found suitable for drilling.
Briggs added that the administration has been canceling lease sales without creating new ones.
“We’re without a lease sale for the first time in the history of the program under this administration,” he said. “We will go all of 2022 without a lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico or Alaska or offshore in federal waters. Those are simple policies that we can just continue what was being done before.”
By lifting restrictions on land-use, streamlining the permitting and approval process, and rescinding steel tariffs, the letter argues that companies will be in a better position to deliver on energy production.
According to Briggs, both permitting and construction need to happen before energy companies can even begin to produce fuel, so lifting barriers to those two steps would be a boon for ramping up energy supply.
“When we get a lease the first time, we have to go out and determine whether there’s even oil or natural gas there,” he said. “Then we have to get a permit from the federal government, then we’ve got to make sure we’ve got the equipment in place, so these projects are often five-to-ten years before they can actually come to fruition.”
In one of the letter’s suggestions, the API calls for Congress to support tax credits for carbon capture, utilization and storage development — technologies that Briggs said would help address environmental concerns by taking carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere and storing them underground.
“Right now, the administration’s approach is that, instead of producing here in the United States where some of the most rigorous environmental restrictions on the planet are, (Biden) is going to Saudi Arabia and OPEC and these other countries that don’t have the environmental restrictions and asking them to produce more energy,” he said.
To read the “10 in 2022 Plan,” examine News 6′s attachment below.
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