In the spirit of this issue’s focus on energy in our daily lives, we want to encourage you to make energy part of your conversations.
Many members of our industry are a little apprehensive about discussing oil and natural gas. It’s easy to see why — we’ve all heard a steady stream of criticism and misinformation about oil and natural gas.
Bad science, misplaced fears and political pressure — coming from media, government officials or political candidates — too often drive the conversation and result in government decisions that hurt our industry. But, by working together, our industry can change the conversation. We have a great story to tell. We are an important part of America’s All-of-the-Above energy strategy, which includes traditional and alternative energy sources. Our industry is providing energy today — and we are investing in the future.
Our industry is also a leading investor in technologies that help our environment. Since 2000, we’ve invested about $90 billion in low- and zero-emission technologies. Further, the increased use of natural gas to generate electricity has helped lower our nation’s carbon emissions to levels not seen for decades.
A great way to learn more about our industry’s All-of-the-Above story and help spread the word is by participating in Energy Nation, the American Petroleum Institute’s issue education and advocacy program for industry employees. Energy Nation provides tools and information that help you communicate a positive, compelling picture of oil and natural gas — not only to government officials, but also to family, friends, neighbors and others in your community.
Here are some key points that you can make that show our industry as a part of the whole picture:
‣ Oil and natural gas are part of our nation’s broad energy mix. No single source of energy can meet our nation’s needs to power our businesses, heat our homes, light our schools and more. Oil and natural gas are an essential part of a broad energy mix that also includes hydropower, nuclear, coal, wind and solar.
‣ Natural gas is the primary driver of carbon emissions reduction. The U.S. leads all other industrial nations — by a significant margin — in reducing carbon emissions. Our success is a direct result of America’s ability to access natural gas resources.
‣ Oil and natural gas are essential for the production of thousands of consumer goods. Modern medicine, clothing, household paint and building materials, your computer, your phone, sports equipment, eyeglasses and much more exist because of oil and natural gas.
‣ Our industry invests in helping the environment. In addition to investing in alternative energy, our industry has made tremendous strides in reducing emissions with new technologies. Between 1990 and 2014, American energy companies spent more than $154 billion on environmental improvements that are resulting in cleaner air.
With all this in mind, do what you can to make the energy conversation part of your everyday routine. As you can see, we have a strong story to tell. We can be proud, not defensive. We can be inclusive, not exclusive. We are energy leaders — and we should lead the conversation.
To learn more about Energy Nation and its mission, visit www.energynation.org.