U.S. energy policy should support job creation, corporate investment and free markets

The U.S. is the world's leading producer of oil and natural gas. An energy renaissance in the U.S. took off in 2008, brought on by the innovative combination of horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing. We are now living in an era of domestic energy abundance, which has impacted markets while delivering a wide array of economic benefits. In November 2016, the U.S. became a net exporter of natural gas for the first time since 1957. And, in December 2018, the U.S. exported more crude oil than it imported for the first time on record.

Nationwide, the energy industry supports more than 10 million jobs across all 50 states. America’s energy abundance has also helped lower energy costs for consumers. Between 2008 — about the time the U.S. energy renaissance started — and 2014, average annual energy costs per household dropped 14 percent. Likewise, American energy has lowered costs for businesses and industry, spurring the manufacturing sector’s revival and bringing a number of manufacturers back to the U.S. from overseas.

By promoting free markets, free trade, and the rule of law, policymakers can foster an atmosphere in which citizens and businesses identify and pursue new innovations and opportunities, invest and build, and achieve unprecedented success by adding value across the nation.

Still, obstacles to accessing U.S. offshore oil and gas resources continue to limit development through broad regulatory overreach. In 2021, the U.S. Department of the Interior halted leasing for new oil and gas operations on federal lands and waters. The program has enabled oil and gas operations to provide affordable and reliable energy to American citizens. A potential ban could eliminate up to 1 million jobs by 2022, increase U.S. household energy costs by $19 billion and decrease U.S. GDP by $700 billion by 2030.

Nationwide, the energy industry supports more than 10 million jobs.

Additionally, continued investment in energy infrastructure – whether it’s surface and lease equipment, pipelines, or carbon capture and storage facilities – will be of critical importance as we seek to safely and responsibly provide the energy consumers need when they need it.

Under most third-party scenarios that meet the objectives of the Paris Agreement, oil and natural gas will continue to play a significant role for decades in meeting increasing energy demand of a growing and more prosperous global population. The ability to safely and responsibly explore our nation’s homegrown energy resources is a critical part of advancing the long-term energy security of the U.S.

Government policies most conducive to energy abundance, reliability, and affordability are not focused on micromanaging or manipulating energy markets, but on establishing basic parameters and allowing free markets to work.

With stable and unbiased public policies supporting open, competitive free markets, the energy industry and companies like ExxonMobil can help further an economic resurgence with disciplined investments in new projects, new technologies and new jobs that will help ensure reliable energy for the U.S. economy.

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