For more than a century, AFPM members have played an integral role in enhancing the standard of living of billions of people worldwide, by providing affordable energy, fuel, and the many petrochemical products that have modernized our world. Industry ingenuity and know-how unleashed the potential of domestic oil and natural gas reserves, sparking a manufacturing renaissance in our country. As a result, fuel and petrochemical manufacturers are expanding existing facilities and building new ones, creating jobs, and growing our nation’s economy in the process.
U.S. refiners have been able to use our nation’s growing supplies of economical oil and natural gas to improve their competitive position in world markets. In 2010, the U.S. went from being a net importer of petroleum products to a net exporter. Domestic refining capacity has increased to more than 18 million barrels per day, up nine percent since 2000.1 This increase will help to serve global petroleum needs, which are expected to rise, providing the nation with added product export opportunities.
In a dramatic reversal of fortune, the United States is now one of the most affordable countries for petrochemical production, due in large part to the shale gas revolution. World demand for petrochemicals is robust, having more than doubled in the last 20 years,2 and shows no signs of slowing down. A large amount of the funding for announced U.S. projects comes from foreign investments because companies see the United States as the best location for investing in the petrochemical industry. This is a remarkable turnaround for a nation that had been losing manufacturing jobs for more than three decades.
The outlook for the petroleum and petrochemical sectors is strong. Refined petroleum products supply 35 percent of our nation’s energy needs and 92 percent of U.S. transportation fuels,3 and EIA projects U.S. reliance on petroleum will remain high for decades to come. The U.S. petrochemical industry is among the nation’s largest industries and we expect further growth as applications for the use of petrochemicals across industries expands.
Our industries have made considerable investments to increase productivity and allow greater access to affordable products and transportation fuels — all while simultaneously reducing emissions significantly. Operations are carried out daily using the safest and most environmentally sound technology available.
Enlightened energy policies will be essential to support, or at least not inhibit, the innovation necessary to create additional, affordable and reliable products capable of serving the world’s needs. AFPM, therefore, is more focused than ever on educating policymakers and thought leaders about the pitfalls of government overreach that impede the free market. We also are committed to ensuring that any debate on the role of fossil fuels in our society includes conversations on the many benefits that petroleum products bring to the world. Simply put, fossil fuels and their derivatives make the world a better place.
We appreciate your support of AFPM and look forward to working with you in 2016.
Fossil Fuels Will Continue to Power American Progress
- U.S. Energy Information Administration
- IHS Inc., Petrochemicals in Goods Critical to the United States Economy, Sept. 2015
- U.S. Energy Information Administration, 2014 Primary Energy Consumption by Source diagram, http://www.eia.gov/totalenergy/data/monthly/