Speaking before a gathering of top oil and gas executives Tuesday, the President of top industry lobby group the American Petroleum Institute laid out the group's priorities for the upcoming year: support elected officials who will push for the passage of the Keystone XL pipeline.
"This has gone on far too long," API President Jack Gerard said. "I'd like to point out that the now five-plus year evaluation process of the Keystone XL pipeline has lasted longer than America's involvement in the second World War, longer than it took our nation to put a man in space, and almost as long as it took to build the Transcontinental Railroad 155 years ago."
He added that the current delay to green-light the project is "a good example of why policy matters and how dogmatic adherence to political ideology can trump economic reality."
The remarks come as environmentalists await the pending White House decision on whether or not to approve the pipeline which will open up Alberta tar sands, the "world's dirtiest fuel," to export terminals on the Gulf Coast.
Gerard was using his platform at the State of American Energy event to unveil a new campaign called “America’s Energy, America’s Choice,” which, according to the industry group, is aimed at helping Big Oil- and Gas-friendly lawmakers prevail in November's midterm elections.
The election, Gerard said, "will have a lasting and profound impact on the direction of our nation's energy policy."
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports:
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In remarks after his formal address, Mr. Gerard told reporters that the effort would not include grading politicians, as many other groups do, but would include scrutinizing voting records to decide which candidates to support.
One goal is to help elect politicians who will advance a plan to build the Keystone XL, a pipeline that would bring Canadian crude oil to Gulf Coast refineries.
According to the Post-Gazette, Gerard also took the opportunity to criticize "'the outdated political ideology of the professional environmental fringe' and encouraged policy-shapers to rely on science rather than flawed, outdated assumptions and political orthodoxy."
And, as Huffington Post's Kate Sheppard reports:
API also advocated for a review of the ban on crude oil exports that has been in place for nearly 40 years, following a similar call from Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) earlier on Tuesday.
Gerard called, too, for a repeal—or, at least, a significant alteration—to the Renewable Fuel Standard, a law put in place in 2005 that requires a certain portion of transportation fuels to come from renewable sources like ethanol. API has been lobbying for the Environmental Protection Agency to reduce the requirement, and filed a lawsuit over the issue last October. API argues that the current requirements are not feasible.