Why Oil and Natural Gas

Oil and natural gas are - and will continue to be - an integral part of American life.

Together, they supply more than 60 percent of our nation’s energy and are the foundation for products that we use daily.  Furthermore, America’s oil and natural gas industry supports 10.3 million jobs throughout the economy and 7.6 percent of GDP (2015).  That's $1.3 trillion.

Oil and natural gas fuel our cars, planes and boats; they heat our homes and light our lamps and stoves; and they provide the basis for thousands of products that we have come to rely on – from our toothpaste to our iPod®, our cellphone to our computers, and our vitamins to vinyl floors.

Oil accounts for 37 percent of our energy use with over 94 percent of it fueling our transportation needs.  Although ethanol and other biofuels are expected to grow rapidly in the future, the Energy Information Agency (EIA) forecasts oil will continue to fill 33 percent of total energy demand and 85 percent of our transportation needs in 2035.  In fact, only about 14 percent of the nation's energy needs is forecasted to be met through renewables by 2035, even with major developments in technology and science.

Natural gas is also being recognized as the ideal bridge to a clean energy future.  A report byDeutsche Bank found that a significant switch to natural gas for electricity could dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, because burning natural gas creates approximately half the amount of CO2 compared with coal.

Although we all recognize that there is no silver bullet to meeting America's energy needs, we must recognize the reality of our reliance on the fossil fuels that help power our economy.  Domestically, the United States has enough oil and natural gas to power 65 million cars for 60 years and heat 60 million households for 160 years.  This is a significant amount of energy that we can produce domestically and not rely on from countries who may not always support our best interests.  We must increase domestic oil and natural gas production for our nation's energy security.

As important as energy security, the oil and natural gas industry is critical to our economic security, providing millions of jobs for Americans and further driving the economy through the goods and services purchased by these workers.  As we can tell with our current employment and economic situation, migrating millions of hardworking Americans to new jobs takes time, training and most importantly, industries that can support them.

America needs to create sound policies that increase, not decrease, energy production - of all types.  Our policymakers must not create barriers to oil and natural gas development through moratoriums, higher taxes, and unnecessary regulations that stymie growth and hurt our economy.