Oil and gas chief
 hopes for review by new president

The head of the American Petroleum Institute on Wednesday said he’s hoping that during President-elect Trump’s first 100 days in office his administration will rethink unneeded regulations of the oil and gas industry and make decisions to approve pipelines and other infrastructure.

Jack Gerard, API’s president and chief executive officer, says it’s time to “examine the regulatory onslaught of the last few years” that has involved imposing or proposing some 145 new regulations on the oil and gas industry.

Gerard spoke in Washington at API’s State of American Energy event and in a news conference afterward with reporters.

He said he hopes the new Congress and incoming Trump administration will take notice of the energy sector’s record of success and commitment to safety and choose to collaborate with industry and take a market-based approach that benefits energy consumers.

Gerard said that “government decisions and red tape are obstructing energy infrastructure projects and the good jobs they create,” including projects that have completed exhaustive approval processes.

Gerard pointed to high electricity costs in the Northeast that could be addressed through infrastructure projects to access ample nearby natural gas fields. Gerard also previously has called on Trump to approve the Dakota Access Pipeline once he takes office. The Army Corps of Engineers recently denied an easement for part of the project.

Another domestic infrastructure project, the proposed Jordan Cove liquefied natural gas export terminal in Oregon and an associated pipeline, suffered a setback this year when the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission denied the project, which could provide an outlet for gas produced in western Colorado.

While not referring specifically to Jordan Cove, Gerard said that in recent years some have tried to politicize the work of FERC, which should make science- and data-based determinations about whether applicants qualify for permits.

“I would hope we would go back to that and there would be less politicization of an entity like FERC, which is primarily a permitting operation,” he said.

Trump has spoken in favor of fossil-fuel development and has moved to fill several Cabinet positions with people who support the industry or have worked in it. Gerard hopes the incoming administration will consider what industry regulations ought to be repealed.

“We believe there is an appropriate role for federal, state and local governments to play in terms of regulating activity but it should be smart and it should be necessary,” he said.

He questioned, for example, initiatives by the federal government to control oil and gas methane emissions, when he said the industry already is working to do just that. “Methane is what we capture and sell. We are highly incentivized to capture it all so we can bring it to the marketplace,” he said.


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