By: Kevin J. Avery, ConocoPhillips Vice President, Federal Government Affairs
The recent unrest in Ukraine has fueled rising energy costs and global economic uncertainty, putting added pressure on Americans struggling to adjust to a post-pandemic world. It’s also brought into focus what we already know: it’s more important than ever for the U.S. to invest in reliable, domestic energy. President Joe Biden agrees, echoing this sentiment in his State of the Union address, which emphasized the need to increase American domestic energy production to help offset global insecurity and position the U.S. for a strong energy future.
The American Petroleum Institute (API) 2023 State of American Energy Report provides important insight into how the overreliance on still-developing, unreliable energy sources made the world susceptible to crisis. It also underscores a solution right here at home. Investment in American energy infrastructure and technologies is critical to ensuring a stable, affordable energy supply that satisfies rising demand and our vision for a low-carbon future. Simply put, the solution is here. U.S. natural gas and oil production follows some of the highest environmental standards in the world – and delivers long-lasting economic and security benefits. American energy investment offers reliable energy, high-paying skilled jobs, stronger communities and a lower trade imbalance. It’s also important to note that preventing U.S. production does not reduce energy demand. Instead, it shifts the production, jobs and revenue to other countries that may lack the high environmental standards we have. The U.S. and the world will continue to need natural gas and oil throughout the energy transition. According to 2022 IEA data, the world will still require more than 75 million barrels of oil per day in 2030 and 22 million barrels of oil per day in 2050.
ConocoPhillips’ Willow project in the National Petroleum Reserve – Alaska is a perfect example of smart American energy investment. Estimated to produce ~180,000 barrels of oil per day at its peak while adhering to the highest standards of safety and environmental stewardship, Willow supports U.S. energy security, reducing our reliance on foreign suppliers. In addition to providing significant energy output, Willow will be a significant shot in the arm to the economy. Willow is expected to create around 2,500 construction jobs and 300 permanent jobs in Alaska, with 75% of the anticipated total North Slope installation workhours over five years projected to use union labor. The project will also generate an additional $7 billion to $18 billion in federal, state and local tax revenue. ConocoPhillips believes this project fits with the Biden Administration’s priorities on environmental and social justice because of its benefits for the Alaska Native communities on the North Slope, facilitating the energy transition and enhancing U.S. energy security.
Global unrest is a timely reminder of the fragility of our domestic energy security. Fortunately, we have the power to take control of our energy future by advancing our own energy supply. There has never been a greater need for sound domestic energy production, and our oil and gas industry can and should lead the world. The State of American Energy put it best: The solution is here. Our resources can provide the energy stability and security we need to move our nation forward. Let’s invest in America and American energy.