API: Oil and gas industry drives U.S. economic gains

The final U.S. trade report for 2014 demonstrates the power of U.S. oil and natural gas production to drive economic gains, a trend that could accelerate under free trade policies, said API Chief Economist John Felmy.

From 2013 to 2014, imports fell by $35.6 billion while exports rose by $8.1 billion among petroleum and petroleum products.

“The U.S. energy revolution has transformed our trade balance, both in terms of driving down imports and driving up exports,” said Felmy.

The United States are importing less oil than at any time in nearly 30 years. Growth in the U.S. oil and natural gas industry served as the central pillar of U.S. strength in the international market last year, helping to offset categories of trade where U.S. businesses lost ground.

“Unfortunately, there’s a limit to how much we can grow as an energy superpower if U.S. oil and natural gas producers aren’t able to access the global market. We have every reason to protect and accelerate America’s growth by lifting outdated export restrictions,” Felmy added.

He said that U.S. competitors overseas recognize that energy exports are a source of economic strength and are working to protect their market share. For the U.S. to grow as an energy leader, policymakers must embrace free trade, accelerate permits to export liquefied natural gas, and lift 1970s restrictions on crude oil.

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Image: API

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