10 in 2022 – A 10-Point Plan to Nix the Energy Crisis

Navajo Refinery Photo by Robin Sommer on Unsplash

The American Petroleum Institute (API) president and CEO, Mike Sommers, released a 10-point plan this week for President Joe Biden to follow and stop the unparalleled energy crisis Americans are facing. Sommers’s response came after Biden’s threats to use “emergency powers” and force oil producers to do more to lower costs.

“Your administration has restricted oil and natural gas development, canceled energy infrastructure projects, imposed regulatory uncertainty, and proposed new tax increases on American oil and gas producers competing globally,” the letter states. “Respectfully, the American people need a different direction to solve this crisis.”

Using the API’s plan, the government would:

Lift Development Restrictions on Federal Lands and Water

The Department of the Interior (DOI) would swiftly issue a 5-year program for the Outer Continental Shelf, hold mandated quarterly onshore lease sales with equitable terms, and reinstate canceled sales and valid leases on federal lands and waters.

Designate Critical Energy Infrastructure Projects

Due to national interests, Congress would authorize critical energy infrastructure projects to support energy production, processing, and delivery with streamlined review and permitting.

Fix the NEPA Permitting Process

A revision of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process would establish uniform reviews, be limited to two years, and reduce bureaucratic burdens on project proponents regarding size and scope of application submissions.

Accelerate LNG Exports and Approve Pending LNG Applications

Amending the Natural Gas Act to streamline the Department of Energy (DOE) to a single approval process for all U.S. liquefied natural gas (LNG) projects. Approve pending LNG applications to enable delivery of reliable energy to our allies abroad.

Unlock Investment and Access to Capital

The Securities and Exchange Commission should reconsider its overly burdensome and ineffective climate disclosure proposal. The administration should ensure open capital markets and access based upon individual company merit, not government-preferred investment allocations.

Dismantle Supply Chain Bottlenecks

Rescinding steel tariffs that remain on imports from U.S. allies as steel is a critical component of energy production, transportation, and refining. Start immediately relieving port congestion so equipment essential for energy development can be delivered and installed.

Advance Lower Carbon Energy Tax Provisions

The expansion and extension of Section 45Q tax credits for carbon capture, utilization, and storage development and create a new tax credit for hydrogen produced from all sources.

Protect Competition in the Use of Refining Technologies

Ensure that future federal agency rulemakings continue to allow U.S. refineries to use the existing critical process technologies to produce the fuels needed for global energy markets.

End Permitting Obstruction on Natural Gas Projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission should cease efforts to overstep its permitting authority under the Natural Gas Act. Instead, adhere to traditional considerations of public needs and focus on direct impacts arising from the construction and operation of natural gas projects.

Advance the Energy Workforce of the Future

Support the training and education of a diverse workforce through increased funding of work-based learning and advancement of STEM programs that nurture skill sets required for the construction and operation of oil, natural gas and other energy infrastructure.

Exxon Mobil and Chevron have fired back at the Biden Administration, slamming incoherent policies and intentional obstruction as reasons for the current crisis.

“In the short term, the U.S. government could enact measures often used in emergencies following hurricanes or other supply disruptions — such as waivers of Jones Act provisions and some fuel specifications to increase supplies,” ExxonMobil said. “Longer term, the government can promote investment through clear and consistent policy that supports U.S. resource development, such as regular and predictable lease sales, as well as streamlined regulatory approval and support for infrastructure such as pipelines.”

Chevron bludgeoned the Biden camp, writing, “Unfortunately, what we have seen since January 2021 are policies that send a message that the Administration aims to impose obstacles to our industry delivering energy resources the world needs.”

Sommers concluded his response: “Washington policymakers must confront the global mismatch between demand and supply that has driven higher fuel prices by supporting greater U.S. production. To address the growing crisis we face, Congress and the President must support energy investment, create new access and keep regulation from unnecessarily restricting energy growth. The world is calling out for energy leadership. America can and should step up fast.”