Last year, the United States became the world’s top producer of oil and natural gas, a position that no one would have predicted just five years ago. As a result, American fuel and petrochemical manufacturers now have the opportunity and the ability to transform the nation’s economic outlook.
Embracing the strong global demand for high-quality, affordable refined petroleum and petrochemical products, AFPM companies are putting economics and infrastructure to work. Refiners are meeting America’s fuel needs, maintaining a strategic inventory and becoming a key exporter. And, petrochemical manufacturers have secured a competitive lead for the first time in more than 30 years.
The ingenuity of AFPM members to combine low cost raw materials and energy with advantages in infrastructure and diverse manufacturing capabilities is powering a manufacturing renaissance. This opportunity brings with it the promise of high-paying technical jobs and enhanced prosperity. We’re on the right path to a bright future. To ensure we stay the course and reap even greater benefits that lay ahead for our country and our citizens, we must be diligent and work together.
Today, American energy policy is at a crossroads. The issues at stake and the policy decisions to be made have never been more important. A surge in regulations, coupled with a basic misunderstanding of the fossil fuel industry, hampers the ability to establish sound policies and regulations that will enable us to continue the progress we’ve made toward renewed economic growth.
Fossil fuels have been an essential part of our daily lives for so long that their true impact can easily be taken for granted. But make no mistake — they don’t just keep us moving, they power every other industry, drive productivity, create prosperity and save lives. Eighty-one percent of the planet’s energy needs are currently met by fossil fuels, according to the International Energy Agency, and that percentage is expected to hold steady for decades to come. Fossil fuels make modern life possible. They have proven their vital role and will continue to remain essential into the foreseeable future. Well-informed policies can preserve that value and continue to improve standards of living around the globe.
For the refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries, 2014 will prove to be a pivotal year. As a country, we face crucial choices as we endeavor to maintain access to affordable, reliable and secure energy sources.
Working on behalf of and in concert with our members, AFPM will continue to:
- Advocate for a regulatory environment that is straightforward and effective.
- Educate policymakers and the public to ensure the benefits of fossil fuels are accurately represented in all energy discussions and that pragmatism is not lost to politics.
- Uphold the high standards for environmental compliance, safety and innovation that have long been a hallmark of our industry.
Standing together, we will unleash the full potential of America’s refining and petrochemical manufacturing industries.