(CNSNews.com) – Demand for oil remains strong, and there’s no sign of that changing any time soon, American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers told “Mornings With Maria” on Monday, when oil was trading at around $80 a barrel.
Oil prices started rising again earlier this month, when OPEC+ announced a surprise production cut of 1.15 million barrels a day from May through the end of 2023, in addition to the production cut announced last October, when OPEC+ agreed on a reduction of 2 million barrels a day, also through the end of 2023.
“If there’s an economic lesson here, the world is going to continue to consume a lot of oil and gas into the future,” Sommers said.
“In fact, the United States Energy Information Agency just said that even in 2050, most of our energy is still going to be coming from oil and gas.
“We believe that that oil and gas should be coming from the United States, which is why we’ve been pushing the administration to open up more of our resources for development, for oil and gas development here in the United States.”
House Republicans on March 30 passed their first major piece of legislation, H.R. 1, titled the Lower Energy Costs Act. The bill, declared dead on arrival in the Senate by Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) aims to boost U.S. energy production and reduce costs in addition to rolling back some of the Biden administration’s anti-fossil-fuel policies.
Sommers said it’s unfortunate that H.R.1 has no chance of passing a Democrat-led Senate or the Biden White House.
“But we were encouraged by the fact that the Biden administration did open up the Willow project in Alaska. Work on that project has already started. so When we want to get moving on something, we can get moving on it,” Sommers said.
“We just need an administration that’s more supportive of this industry. H.R.1 is one way that we think we can get this country moving again, from an energy perspective.”
Sommers said the Biden administration needs to start “acknowledging energy reality.”
“The world is going to continue to consume these products. Americans are going to continue to demand these products. They’re a going to use them in their everyday goods, of course, but also to power their cars and heat their homes. So the real question is not whether or not we’re going to be using oil and gas, but whether we’re going to be getting it from the United States which produces it in the most environmentally responsible way.”
Sommers said the United States has boosted domestic oil production by about a million barrels a day in the last year.
“Again, EIA expects that that number is going to continue to increase. I’ll tell what you is really supporting American production right now, though, is these continued policies that we continue to see out of the Biden administration, which is restricting American supply, but we’re also dealing with some of the same issues that the rest of the economy is dealing with.
“We’re having trouble finding workers right now during this period. And we need more workers. We need more supply of American oil and gas. We need more permitting on federal lands and federal waters. Right now, it took an act of Congress to ensure that we got more permitting in the Gulf of Mexico, for example. That a shouldn’t be how it is.
“The administration needs to put out a new five-year plan particularly for the Gulf of Mexico, which will increase supply of this important resource American waters.”
Sommers also urged the Biden administration to refill the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which it has drained to its lowest level since 1983:
“But here’s the really scary statistic,” Sommers said. “We’re using 20 percent more oil today than we used in 1983. So we need to get that reserve filled back up in case there’s a real international crisis, and with as volatile as the world is right now, we know that there could be a crisis right on the horizon.
“Unfortunately, the Biden administration actually signaled they were going to buy more oil into the reserve at about 70 dollars, and then they didn’t.
“And that was one of the reasons why OPEC responded by cutting production in those countries. So these markets are very much interconnected, and we need to continue to produce here in the United States to allow us to have the energy that we need and to provide that energy to the American people.
“You know, one interesting statistic, Maria, is that China is actually importing about 75 percent of their oil. We want them to be…dependent on the United States for these products…but, if we’re going to do that, we also need to make sure we’re producing here in the United States.”
Sommers noted that the green energy policies prioritized by the Biden administration work to China’s benefit, since the minerals used in batteries for electric vehicles are found in China.
“And we shouldn’t just look at this from the perspective of emissions, but we should also look at it from a national security perspective.
“We should not be sacrifice American energy independence to a regime that is certainly hostile to American interests.”
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