API president gives rousing speech on Alaska’s oil and gas industry

The Alaska Oil and Gas Association had its annual luncheon on Thursday. About 1000 people attended. The theme, naturally, was how much the oil and gas business contributes to the state’s economy–see some numbers below–and how important it is to keep a competitive fiscal regime going in the state. You couldn’t toss a stone without hitting a politician. Even Sen. Hollis French showed for the event.

The keynote speaker was Jack Gerard. Gerard is the president of the American Petroleum Institute, and is considered one of the most aggressive oil and gas players in D.C. He has turned API from a relatively sleepy trade association into a political powerhouse.

On Tuesday, he met with Sen. Mark Begich to discuss Alaska’s resources, an event that Begich touted in a release. Begich claimed that he brought Gerard to Alaska, something that people in the know dispute. Begich also listed Gerard as the host to a fundraiser on Tuesday. Shortly after he sent out the email, another invite was sent without Gerard’s name on it. Take from that what you will.

That said, in his speech, Gerard emphasized the importance of Alaska’s bipartisan delegation.

“Alaska’s bipartisan support for Keystone and on other important energy issues sends an important signal that when it comes to energy, there is no place for partisanship or narrow-minded orthodoxy,” he said.

Gerard also talked about the importance of keeping in place the current tax regime, and warned what would happen if it’s repealed. From his speech, as written:

Here in Alaska and around the nation there are those who are of the opinion that no matter what policy or regulation is imposed on our industry we will pay it and we will bear it in order to develop the energy this nation and the world needs. They are wrong. To those who think that policy doesn’t matter when it comes to energy development, I’d suggest that they look at the consequences of that attitude in Alaska. I would remind them that Alaska’s oil and natural gas deposits account for almost 30 percent of the nation’s energy reserves, and yet today the state’s energy production accounts for approximately 7 percent of U.S. production down from a high of 25 percent in 1989. In recent decades, Alaska has been the highest or second highest producing state of crude oil. Today Alaska ranks fourth … slipping behind North Dakota and California. When you look across this U.S. today at this great energy renaissance — every oil and gas producing state except Alaska — has increased production.

  • North Dakota: up 58%.
  • Texas: up 36%.
  • Colorado: up 25%
  • Alaska’s North Slope: Down 6.6%

“Vote No on 1 in August,” he said.

Here’s some numbers on Alaska’s oil and gas industry according to a new study from the McDowell Group:

  • Government spending of oil revenue accounted for 60,000 jobs and $3 billion in wages (direct, indirect and induced) in Alaska’s economy in 2013.
  • The industry accounted for 33 percent of all wage and salary employment in Alaska (111,000 jobs out of total of 335,000 jobs) and 38 percent of all wages ($6.45 billion in wages out of a total of $17.1 billion).
  • Since 1959, 88 percent of all state revenue from natural resource development (including seafood, mining, and timber taxes and royalties, and the applicable portion of state corporate income tax) came from oil and gas development.
  • In FY2013, the oil and gas industry paid $7.4 billion in taxes and royalties to state government.

Contact Amanda Coyne at amandamcoyne@yahoo.com 


7 thoughts on “API president gives rousing speech on Alaska’s oil and gas industry

  1. Use To Be A Donkey

    Glad to read that AOGA’s guest speaker commenting that “oil is not a partisan issue”; unfortunately, most Democratic legislators and activists in this state think it is. For this reason alone, I left the Democratic party. I was planning to vote for Begich but am becoming increasingly disgusted with his unwillingness to take a stand on SB 21. Begich talks a good game when it comes to his support of the oil industry. If he doesn’t come out and support SB 21, then I will be forced to vote for another senatorial candidate. To me, the oil induistry is our state’s economy.

  2. FPTC

    Work on the North Sloe right now has been more plentiful than I’ve seen for yearrs. The Slope is booming with investment and jobs. That investment will lead to increased production and state revenue. The environmentalists, liberals and Democratic legislators that are leading the SB 21 repeal efforts hate the oil companies or don’t have a very clear understanding of simpple economics. Glad to see this article and hope that a majority of Alaskans have the common sense to vot No on #1.

  3. Lynn Willis

    Our elected officials brought us this legislation and they deserve to be solely responsible for the effect of what they did. Only time will tell.
    We all hear the claims that passage of SB 21 brought an immediate huge financial loss to the state and counter claims that SB 21 brought immediate capital spending by the producers to increase production. Neither of those claims could possibly be true in the short time since passage of SB 21. .
    According to the proponents of SB21state taxes are holding back oil production. If SB21 is repealed and production/state revenues continue to decrease how will you feel for the next decade when all you will hear from the producers and proponents of SB21 is “I told you so” because they will then have license to blame all their problems on the repeal.
    Therefore, I will vote “NO” and let those who supported this legislation have the time to “put up or shut up” and thereby put myself in a “win-win” position by either benefiting from increased state revenues or by being able to clearly understand that this generation of politicians in the political majority have no idea of what they are doing.

  4. Alex

    Great to see the turnout at the AOGA luncheon today. The numbers speak for themselves. Senate Bill 21 is working and will result in more production. Sick of Les Gara and Hollis French and their disingenuuous accounts of the negative impacts of SB 21. These guys are so far to the left and liberal that the whole concept of profits for a business is out of their realm of comprehension. Les Gara is an angry little man and that’s too bad because he’s bright.

  5. OE302

    I know the North Slope is busier today than it has been for years. I support SB 21. Don’t get what it is with the Democrats and their hatred of oil. All I can say is that they don’t understand basic, simple economics.
    I agree, Vote No on Ballot Measure Number 1.

Comments are closed.