News, Policy & Issues
The oil and natural gas industry shares a keen interest in the policy issues arena. As demand for energy to keep our homes, vehicles, and businesses running continues to increase, so does our advancement in technology, allowing us to provide safe, reliable, and affordable energy. While serious challenges face our nation on a variety of fronts, oil and natural gas industry representatives remain actively engaged with government leaders to ensure informed decision making so the energy needs of tomorrow are met.
The American energy revolution opened a new era of resurgent U.S. oil and natural gas production, strengthening the nation’s economy and energy security while also helping protect the environment. Over much of the past decade, American consumers realized energy cost savings, and imports of foreign oil decreased. Energy security today results from investments and production set in motion years ago and must be followed up by sound policies and planning to help ensure energy security tomorrow.
The oil and natural gas industry is the backbone of the American economy. What happens in the industry is felt throughout the entire economy. The oil and natural gas industry not only provides most of the energy that heats our homes, powers our factories and offices, and gets Americans to school and work, it also supports 9.2 million American jobs and supports more than $1 trillion of economic activity.
API and its members commit to delivering solutions that reduce the risks of climate change while meeting society’s growing energy needs. We support global action that drives greenhouse gas emissions reductions and economic development.
API member companies share the objectives of policy makers regarding cybersecurity of the oil and natural gas industry – to protect critical infrastructure, to provide reliable energy for society, to safeguard public safety and the environment and to protect the intellectual property (IP) and marketplace competitiveness of companies. As operators and service providers of energy critical infrastructure in the United States and globally, protecting assets from cyber-attacks is a priority of API’s member companies.
Oil and natural gas provide the majority of the energy American consumers’ need, and our nation’s energy infrastructure –including pipelines, railroads, highways, waterways and ports—make sure this energy is available when they need it.
Think about energy. It’s all around us – in fuels and products that make life better, more comfortable. Yet energy’s value goes even deeper: What do you want to do? Where do you want to go? What do you want to become? Energy is integrally involved in the answers to all three. It’s absolutely fundamental to both prosperity and opportunity.
Our members recognize their responsibility to work with the public, the government, and others to develop and to use natural resources in an environmentally sound manner while protecting the health and safety of our employees and the public. Industry practice has changed a lot in the past 50 years, even the past 10 years. Advancements in technology allow us to conduct many aspects of our operations far more efficiently than just a few years ago. This efficiency translates to smaller "footprints" (the amount of surface area disturbed), less waste generated, cleaner and safer operations, and greater compatibility with the environment.
The natural gas and oil industry is essential to supporting a modern standard of living for all by ensuring that communities have access to affordable, reliable, and cleaner energy, and we are committed to working with local communities and policymakers to promote these principles across the energy sector. Our top priority remains public health and safety, and companies often have well-established policies in place for proactive community engagement and feedback aimed at fostering a culture of trust, inclusivity and transparency. We believe that all people should be treated fairly, regardless of race, color, national origin, or income, with respect to the development, implementation, and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies.
Access to oil and natural gas resources is critical to supplying the energy needs of American consumers, business and homeowners.
The oil and natural gas industry is dedicated meeting the energy challenges of the 21st century and ensuring that the transportation fuel needs of U.S. consumers are addressed in the decades ahead. Also, the oil and natural gas industry is the nation’s largest user of ethanol and is increasing the volume of renewable fuels in America's transportation fuel portfolio.
API helps the oil and natural gas industry gain a better understanding of the environmental conditions in and around the Gulf of Mexico during hurricane or tropical storm activity and then aids it to use that knowledge to make offshore and onshore facilities less vulnerable. API also collaborates with member companies, other industries and with federal, state and local governments to prepare for hurricanes and return operations as quickly and as safely as possible.
Hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling are safely unlocking vast U.S. reserves of oil and natural gas found in shale and other tight-rock formations. Developing energy from shale is an advanced process that uses the latest drilling technologies and equipment.
Reducing methane emissions is a priority for our industry to address the risks of climate change. Thanks to innovation and industry actions, U.S. methane emissions rates in the largest producing regions have declined 70 percent in the past decade, even as America produces more affordable, reliable and cleaner natural gas.
Cleaner. Reliable. Affordable. These are the three big benefits of natural gas. And together they continue to change the energy landscape in this country and beyond. American natural gas is a solution that has forever altered the world's energy equation.
National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) are air quality standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Clean Air Act.
API has provided these pandemic information resources to ensure members and industry partners have easy access to critical health and safety information as the outbreak of COVID-19 develops. Oil and natural gas operations occur around the world, which creates unique challenges for operators when such events occur. These resources can provide the information needed to make the plans and decisions necessary to protect people and maintain the global supply of oil and natural gas so critical to the world economy.
America's oil and natural gas industry considers safety its top priority and is committed to developing the technologies, standards and best practices, and programs needed to help ensure that workplace safety is at the forefront of our activities.
API member companies have historically supported and continue to support payment transparency. Several API member companies are founding members of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and engage in transparency initiatives in many countries.
API’s all-virtual event will highlight the U.S. natural gas and oil industry’s contributions to modern life, the foundational role of affordable and reliable energy in the nation’s economic recovery, and the many ways industry is helping America build a better future.
For the natural gas and oil industry, the drive for sustainable operations means developing new standards, innovative technologies and partnerships to accelerate safe, cleaner, affordable energy solutions for today and tomorrow.
America's oil and natural gas industry supports 10.3 million U.S. jobs and nearly 8 percent of the U.S. economy.. Our industry provides higher-than-average wages and helps ensure our nation’s energy security. In the process, the industry generates tax revenues from operations and sales of products that contribute billions every year to federal, state and local governments.
API supports free trade and the abolition of trade and investment restrictions on oil and natural gas goods and services and the liberalization of all trade in oil and natural gas. We support principles that achieve the objective of increasing trade in oil and natural gas, as well as principles that help to underpin investments in finding, developing, producing and transporting hydrocarbon resources.
See API letters and comments regarding government regulations and policies that impact the oil and natural gas industry.
See the American Petroleum Institute’s infographics, and Media Department contact list.
See notable testimony by API spokespersons on energy issues.