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Oil Industry Group CEO Calls for More Drilling

U.S. energy policy should encourage more conventional oil and gas exploration in addition to fostering the development of alternative energy resources, said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, an advocacy group for the industry.

“I think what’s most important ... is [that] we focus on our domestic capacity and what we can do in this country to bring additional energy supplies to the marketplace,” he said.

Gerard says additional drilling and energy policy are two key factors that will affect those supplies. The Waxman-Markey Clean Energy Bill, which was recently passed by the House of Representatives, however, is a step in the wrong direction, according to Gerard.

“The net effect of it is to hurt or destroy our refinery capacity in this country and turn around and rely on other sources for a finished product,” he explained.

Gerard says the best solution is to develop new forms of alternative energy resources while also providing adequate access to domestic oil and gas reserves.

Oil speculators

Oil speculators have been bearing the brunt of blame for fluctuations in oil prices, and regulators in both the U.S. and Europe are cracking down on so-called “speculation” in oil markets. Gerard says we must be careful about who we label a speculator, so as to not scare away needed capital.

“We need to make sure we’re providing the capital necessary to produce energy in this country,” he added. “...We have to be careful that we don’t chase a discussion surrounding speculation and fail to address the fundamental issues of supply and demand.”

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