No Peak Oil Here: API's Gerard Touts U.S. Resources, Takes Aim at White House

Last Updated Jan 14, 2010 8:00 AM EST

So what is the state of the energy industry in the United States? If you're American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard the oil and gas industry is poised to create more jobs -- even green ones -- and Americans will have plenty of fossil fuels to play with as long as the Obama administration gets out of its way.

Gerard, who spoke Wednesday at the 6th Annual State of the Energy Industry USEA Conference, took aim at the Obama administration and Congress for policies and proposed legislation. Some policies he is unhappy with include the Interior Department's recent proposal to change onshore oil and gas leases; and a delay in the Outer Continental Shelf five-year plan. Gerard also criticized climate-change legislation that passed in the House last summer and used quotes from an unnamed retiree in Chicago and Alaskan to show Americans are increasingly skeptical of the bill.

Here is Gerard talking about U.S. energy resources.

"We are not running out of oil or natural gas. Technology and innovation keep finding new supplies and squeezing out more resources from existing fields than ever thought possible. Our experience in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere bears this out as ultimate production often exceeds initial estimates by a factor of eight.
And later, he says this:
Moreoever, the oil and natural gas resource estimates I've presented don't count the not fully known oil and gas potential of most of the rest of U.S. offshore areas, which until recently Congress had kept off limits.
It's true that technological advances have allowed producers to access resources once considered to costly to reach. A perfect example of this is the development of unconventional natural gas resources in the U.S. Or ExxonMobil's announcement Wednesday of technology that will help the company recover the equivalent of an additional 40 million barrels of oil at its Hawkins Field in Texas.

But Americans do not live in a vacuum -- meaning demand for fuel in developing countries is growing -- nor do they get most of their oil from U.S. soil.