U.S. Oil and Gas Industry Group Launches Election-Year Ad Campaign

Effort aimed at informing voters about key energy issues impacting the industry.

Approval of the Keystone XL pipeline is among the top policy decisions the U.S. oil and gas industry would like addressed during this election year, said American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard Jan. 4.

The American Petroleum Institute, a trade organization representing U.S. oil and gas producers, outlined its policy agenda and launched an advertising campaign to convey its message during the group's State of American Energy event in Washington, D.C., Jan. 4.

The ad campaign, called Vote 4 Energy, is a multistate effort that's aimed at informing voters about critical energy issues through print, radio, television and social media avenues, Gerard said. API is not endorsing any candidates as part of the campaign, which Gerard said is a nonpartisan effort.

The advertising effort also will focus on regional hotspots, including Ohio, where oil and gas policy issues are being considered.

The proposed 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline is key to enhancing the nation's energy security and generating more than 500,000 jobs by 2035, API said.

Gerard stressed the need to move forward on the Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration postponed until after the 2012 election pending a review of the pipeline route.

"I think the Keystone XL pipeline is already an election issue," Gerard said.

The State Department determined in November that it needs to undertake an in-depth assessment of alternatives to the current proposed route through the Sand Hills area of Nebraska because of environmental concerns.

The Keystone pipeline, which would stretch from Canada to Texas, has already undergone extensive environmental reviews, Gerard said. The only decision remaining for President Obama on the issue is whether the project is in the United States' national interest, Gerard said.

The pipeline would immediately create 20,000 jobs and bring an additional 830,000 barrels of oil per day to the U.S. market, Gerard said. That's about half of what the nation imports from the Persian Gulf, according to the American Petroleum Institute's state of the industry report.

Among other key policy issues cited in API's report include increased access to oil and natural gas resources, "common-sense" regulations that don't place unnecessary burdens on the industry, an accelerated leasing and permitting process for offshore and onshore resources and no punitive taxes for the oil and gas industry.

On hydraulic fracturing, Gerard said API supports regulations at the state level where local geographic issues present unique challenges to each particular region.

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