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PACE Welcomes Atlantic Council Report on U.S. Energy Abundance, Global Leadership

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center released a comprehensive report on America’s growing energy abundance, which highlights how U.S. energy exports can strengthen our economy and our national security. The report, titled “Empowering America: How Energy Abundance Can Strengthen US Global Leadership,” was delivered by a task force co-chaired by Senators Lisa Murkowski (AK) and Mark Warner (VA) and co-directed by former state department energy envoys Richard Morningstar and David Goldwyn.

“I applaud Senators Murkowski and Warner for leading this task force and for the robust recommendations outlined in their well-informed report” said George Baker, executive director of Producers for American Crude Oil Exports (PACE). “The Atlantic Council’s study underscores America’s energy abundance and it speaks to the potential of our nation becoming a global energy superpower.”

The report includes sections on 1) American energy abundance and historic energy production in recent years, 2) U.S. energy security, 3) linkages between energy and security in key regions of the world, 4) key findings of the task force and 5) task force recommendations.

The key findings and recommendations from the report are explained below:

The U.S. Energy Endowment: The United States has now surpassed Russia as the world’s leading oil and gas producer.

  • “Thanks to a uniquely American blend of innovation and entrepreneurship, the United States has become the world’s largest oil and gas producer, with exportable surpluses of natural gas, light oil and petroleum products.”

U.S. Energy Security Interests: Domestic abundance has decreased U.S. reliance on foreign, and occasionally hostile, producers. This is of increased importance given the exceptional level of instability in the Middle East today with civil wars raging in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya.

  • “Today, we enjoy more self-sufficiency in energy than we could have imagined in the 1970s. Along with Canada and Mexico, we have achieved continental self-sufficiency; reducing the risk of a physical disruption of supply from the Middle East.”

Energy and National Security: Regional Perspectives: The U.S. can leverage its energy abundance on the international stage by exporting its crude oil and natural gas supply. This would protect our NATO allies from supply disruptions from Russia, ease Asian consumer’s reliance on the Middle East, and help Latin American and Caribbean countries contend with the declining exports of oil from Venezuela.

  • “America now must practice the philosophy we have preached at home and abroad since 1973: join the global market and reject protectionism. The United States has many tools with which we can help other nations gain autonomy, prosperity, and energy security, but allowing unfettered exports of our natural gas and oil abundance would be a force multiplier with powerful results.”

Economic and Market Benefits of the U.S. Energy Boom: While the U.S. cannot operate as a “swing producer” the same way Saudi Arabia can—it can act as a “surge producer” when markets need to be balanced quickly.

  • “American shale and gas can come to market in months, faster than deep water or other forms of oil and gas production that can take years. All we need to do is to allow the price signals of global energy demand to reach American entrepreneurs who can deliver surge supply. This requires removal of export constraints designed for another time and another market.”

Recommendations: This study has several recommendations to help the United States use its energy abundance to support its domestic, regional and foreign policy goals. Chief among these recommendations is to lift the crude oil export ban and further lift export restrictions on liquefied natural gas (LNG).

  • “The consensus of our task force experts is that the arguments for lifting the crude oil ex¬port ban are very strong, based on economic, security, and fair trade principles. Moreover, the combination of these elements would increase US strength and leadership capabilities that are essential to optimizing the foreign policy benefits of the energy boom to a wide range of security and geopolitical interests.”
  • “America must embrace this new tool of power and leadership, not shrink from it. This embrace will support our global leadership in trade and security, and signal an outstretched and helping hand to Europe and Asia that they clearly seek. To ignore this opportunity would be a signal of withdrawal and retreat when the need for greater leadership is acute.”

Baker continued, “America is now the largest producer of petroleum in the world, while we are also the only major oil producing country that bans the export of oil. As this study recommends, lifting the ban on crude oil exports would strengthen our economy, help lower our gasoline prices, support jobs and strengthen our national security while accruing a wide range of geopolitical benefits to the U.S. We agree.”

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