Making Industry More Productive And Americans More Prosperous
America’s fuel and petrochemical manufacturers have been and will continue to be the catalysts that make industry more productive and Americans more prosperous. Petroleum based fuels and products are the backbone of our economy and are predicted to remain a significant portion of our fuels mix in the future. No other fuels deliver the same combination of performance, convenience, reliability, safety and affordability.
In October 2013, the United States produced more crude oil than it imported for the first time since February 1995. The increased production is a result of combining advanced technologies that allow the extraction of oil and natural gas from sources that were once considered economically infeasible to develop, such as shale, sand and other porous rock formations. Oils coming from these newly developed resources are sometimes given distinct names such as tight oil and shale oil. But all these new oils, along with conventionally produced crude oils, are processed in our refineries into products for consumers. According to the Energy Information Agency (EIA), the United States is positioned to become the world’s largest oil producer by 2017, and is on course to enhanced energy and national security as well as improved balance of trade.
Abundant Natural Resources and Advanced Technologies Spur Growth
At the same time, we have unleashed abundant natural gas and liquids reserves through shale development and technology advances. Once considered inaccessible, newly developed resources such as shale gas and tight gas have given the U.S. petrochemical industry its best competitive advantage in more than 30 years. These new supplies of natural gas and liquids have created affordable energy and petrochemical feedstocks, enabling our nation’s manufacturers to flourish.
Through the ingenuity and industriousness of our member companies, we are able to make use of these vital natural resources more efficiently, more safely and cleaner than ever before.
Environmental and Safety Performance Continue to Excel
Our members are strongly committed to clean air, water and waste reduction; have an outstanding record of compliance with the Environmental Protection Agency and other regulatory bodies; and have invested hundreds of billions of dollars to dramatically reduce emissions as measured by the EPA. As a result of these emissions reductions, criteria pollutants have been significantly reduced over the past three decades.
Safety is also a priority. Rates of injury and illness have declined significantly due to a concerted effort by refiners and petrochemical manufacturers to enhance safety performance through programs, technical conferences, meetings and benchmarking surveys. These industries are collaborating to develop joint performance metrics for process safety, to share information on incidents and causal factors to lessen the chances of repeat at other facilities and to ensure that potential hazards are identified before they become incidents.