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Jack N. Gerard
President and CEO, American Petroleum Institute

Jack N. Gerard

Jack N. Gerard is president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute, the national trade association that represents all aspects of America's oil and natural gas industry.


Secure our energy future

The loss of the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig was a tragic accident. While our thoughts and prayers remain with the workers and their families, as well as our neighbors along the Gulf coast, our efforts are focused on stopping the leaks and preventing or mitigating the oil's potential impact on the environment.

This accident--and the massive response to the spill--are unprecedented. As of today (May 7), 8,497 personnel are involved in response efforts both onshore and offshore, and more than 2,500 volunteers have been trained to assist in the response. Today 256 vessels are in place and continuing recovery efforts; 876,836 feet of boom barrier is deployed to contain the spill and another 1.3 million feet of boom is available; nearly 1.9 million gallons of oil/water mix has been recovered; and ten staging areas have been established to protect shorelines.

In time, investigations will determine the cause of the explosion and fire and the industry will take the steps necessary to prevent a similar accident from occurring again. To that end, the industry has formed two task forces to review offshore equipment and technology as well as operating procedures. The industry looks forward to working closely with the government with the ultimate goal of improving offshore safety and environmental protection.

Using this accident as an excuse to turn back the clock on offshore drilling would be short-sighted. Every credible projection shows the United States will need more oil and natural gas for decades to come. At present, offshore energy development accounts for 30 percent of the nation's oil production and about 11 percent of its natural gas production. If offshore energy development were ceased, the United States would become increasingly dependent on energy from other countries, thus reducing U.S. energy security and increasing the trade deficit.

It also would have a devastating impact on jobs. At any one time, 35,000 U.S. workers are working on rigs and platforms offshore. The livelihoods of many thousands of other workers who produce steel, equipment, and provide transportation and supplies also would be affected. A recent study shows 9.2 million U.S. workers are employed or supported by the activities of the oil and natural gas industry.

This is not the time for finger pointing and hasty policy decisions. Industry and government should focus on identifying the cause of the accident and work together to secure our energy future.

By Jack N. Gerard  |  May 7, 2010; 10:37 AM ET Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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Jack says: "Using this accident as an excuse to turn back the clock on offshore drilling would be short-sighted." Gosh it would be terrible to go back to the bad old days when industry didn't own the government and have exceptions to every safety regulation. I see what you mean Jack, scary thought, eh? What's a few Katrinas, a few Bhopals, a few Chernobyls, between friends, so long as there is limited liability for corporations, and little accountability for politicians in this wonderful world. We are so grateful for your sense of vision. Just when we though there was no hope, you've solved the problem. Thanks Jack!

Posted by: austinhook | May 10, 2010 3:15 AM
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I am not a religious man so I have my doubts about the existence of God. However, quite recently I started to believe in the existence of Satan.

Posted by: bahbahwahwah | May 9, 2010 10:54 PM
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Continuing to drill for oil is short- sighted, Jack. There is no infinite supply of oil. It is only a matter of time before we run out and these disasters will become increasingly common as we attempt to extract oil from increasingly remote and dangerous areas.

Posted by: pkramer1 | May 9, 2010 10:00 PM
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BP and Halliburton's History of Criminal Negligence should be more than enough to prove they deserve to pay the $10+ Billion/year for however long it takes to repair this Disaster and restore Multi-Billion dollar Industries and the Lives and Livelihoods of everyone effected, from businesses to Shorefront Property Owners?

Drill-Baby-Drill Politicians defeated Safety Regulations Requiring Secondary Relief Wells, Remote Acoustic Triggers for Shut Off Valves, corrosion resistant Carbon Fiber Reinforced pipes, and High Quality Cement Sealing requirements; many of which are standard safety requirements in Canada, Brazil, and Norway.

We must develop Alternatives to Oil and Coal and Create Jobs in other Industries for the benefit of our Economy and National Security. Using 25% of the Worlds Oil while only owning 3% only benefits Oil Industry gouging of the public while Gulf Coast Drillers enjoy both Public Subsidies and Tax exempt status as they pay their royalties then sell the Oil on the Open market.

The Coal and Oil industries are stifling the creation of American Jobs and the deployment of American Innovation, Efficiency and Technology. The true costs for Coal and Oil are currently being paid by Health, Environmental and Military expenditures as well as limiting new Job creation and the multitude of benefits to our Economy and National Security that comes with that.

Posted by: liveride | May 9, 2010 3:32 PM
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Require Drillers to be Insured for Worst case Scenario ($50~100 Billion to start from the looks of this accident). If you cannot get insurance the way you are doing it now, or because you are using Halliburton Cost cutting low quality Cementing, then you shouldn't be in our waters.

The Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund supported by industry fees should be raised from $1 Billion to $50 Billion.

Current Drillers should be subject to new Insurance and Safety Regulation requirements. No more Oil Drilling exemptions from detailed Environmental Impact Studies.

BP’s after-tax profit in 2009 was about $17 billion, on revenues of about $245 billion. Halliburton’s was around $1.7 Billion.

When Multi-Billion dollar Industries and Natural Resources have been Killed off for Decades as a result of Criminal Negligence, how does an Oil Company making $17 Billion a year in profits pay for it?;

BP, Halliburton and partners should Pay $10~16 Billion a year for however long it takes to Restore the Industries and Environment Destroyed.

Posted by: liveride | May 9, 2010 3:25 PM
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In 2009 The United States used 17 Million Barrels/day, produced 5.1 million barrels/day domestically, and imported 12.4 million barrels/day (over 60 percent), of which 6 Million Barrels/day come from the Middle East (OPEC). Our dependence on Oil is funding terrorist organizations and reliance on Coal is Poisoning our Communities and Water .

We currently use 25% of the world’s Oil while we have only 3% of it. No amount of domestic drilling will adjust that number even a percentage point or have any effect on the price of Oil on world markets.

What will have the greatest effect is using a Lot Less of it and; Ending Wall Street Energy speculation; Improving Transportation Efficiency; Producing Domestic Biofuels; and Developing Freight Rail (such as along the I-81 corridor).

These actions provide the greatest Bang-for-the-Buck and Job Creation without sacrificing other Multi-Billion dollar industries and White Sand beaches.

Remember when JOBS was our biggest issue? Well it still is for Millions of Americans.

Unfortunately this Oil spill means a few more Tens to Hundreds of Thousands of Jobs and Livelihoods will be Lost.

Posted by: liveride | May 9, 2010 3:19 PM
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Lets see how smart some one you are.
The fact is oil is a natually occuring
liquid in the earth. 46 million gallons is leaking through the earth floor in the ocean already per year. The last Oil spill from a underground rig was in 1970.
So why cry if it only happens every 40 years.

Every 10 years some idiot tells us that we are going to run out of oil then we find that they are pumping more and more oil as we go deeper and deeper. Oil is cheap and abundant and it will take 40 years for solar, more nuclear and wind to be a big factor. Those of you that don't like the facts, go live in a cave in the mountains and be green. Lastly natural global warming is the only reason we exsist otherwise we would be frozen solid in our huts.

Posted by: taxedtoomuch8 | May 9, 2010 10:28 AM
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I'd say if I were at top of BP decision making ?

right now, I'd immediately move to wind farm for any oil operations in the gulf -

I'd start shut down -

and progress to compete with the Saudi's on what Enron really wanted, the global energy grid - which they never got - but is right around the corner.

Saudi's will be pumping over a Terawatt combined into this grid.

US ? Zilch

Drill baby drill-

Meanwhile the REST of the world is moving towards lower maintenance energy solutions, such as solar and wind.

oh well.

So far ? Health care that is a mirror of MA's pay for health care of be fined - nop public option, pro offshore drilling exploration ? While Solar goes to China ? I'm expecting Mexico to take wind turbine manufacturing, gee USA - what's left ?

I STILL say- THEME PARK the entire damned place.

ALL states.

We ALL become employees IN the theme park - and tourists from Europe can come to visit - and we all just go on as we do.

JUST like Williamsburg VA

no kidding - really- I'm not.

We COULD mandate no clowns period -

OR let real clowns be new hired prop clowns.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: RedMercury | May 9, 2010 9:10 AM
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The off shore oil is too valuable to tap into now. Ten years from now it will be worth many times more than it is now and we have not yet felt enough pain to realistically begin conservation.

If we ever expand offshore drilling, we have to change the rules regarding the leases. The government should be the primary beneficiary and not the oil companies. The only wrong with this is that who believes our government would spend the money wisely? Not me!

Offshore drilling now a loose, loose, loose proposition for the people.

Posted by: greg46 | May 9, 2010 9:10 AM
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Hi Jack

I hear we have 3 career changes in our lives.

Tim Miltz

Posted by: RedMercury | May 9, 2010 9:02 AM
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Article says:

nearly 1.9 million gallons of oil/water mix has been recovered;

Now - at 10 days ? that's 190 thousand gallons a day.

let's call it 20 to be safe

still 95,000 gallons a day

then again, that's based off of what as been recovered.

So forget that - my figures are useless !

Posted by: RedMercury | May 9, 2010 9:01 AM
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This isn't a spill

So far it's an exposed well -

This could shut oil out due to losses on US gulf coast real estate.

Could be very high - over a decade? might be easily hundreds of billions.

BP can't cover those losses.

Perhaps BP will further more projects.

Right now, I'd be checking for damage from REGIONAL earthquakes- I mean, come on, Haiti ? and Chili ? That well HAS been hit - let's face it - but what about the OTHER wells ?

BP - some advice, you could make more money placing wind farms in the Gulf.

I'd say - now ? is a FINE time to switch eh?


Tim Miltz

Posted by: RedMercury | May 9, 2010 8:58 AM
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I witnessed viewing Hans Timmer of World Bank and others point out that because the US did NOT establish a firm directive, or direction to alternative energy industries at Copenhagen ? The US missed out on it's opportunity to tie into what the other top 3 emerging industrial nations will surely find success with - China, India and Venezuela.

I think it's part 3 where Timmer explains Greece's sovereign currency problems coming - this was back in January 2010 - then Spain, then possibly Ireland.

But more importantly and germane to this thread is Timmer's comments that the BIG MISS for the US was at Copenhagen. I agree.

That's jobs too.

Drill baby drill ? or dig for coal ? I say- hey - the REST of the world is moving forward. I note the Saudi's have some FINE solar farms now.

And what a perfect place too for solar, the desert. They clearly are looking ahead.

I can't imagine their new technological learning institution- odd how many from Stanford just move - must be some place.

Yet ? 100 years PLUS of whale oil, whoops, wrong century- whale oil would be absurd, then again, so is oil.

Then again, the world's largest corporation is Exxon at over 500 Billion, then Petro China #2 - then we get into Enron chatter to TXU to Bush to oil - and more or less a sellout for 8 years on more pro oil movements - tax breaks- sheesh- BP probably cashed in enough under Bush tax wise they can afford to cover these losses ?

However, no price can replace beaches - in Western Florida.

eh ?

Tim Miltz

Posted by: RedMercury | May 9, 2010 8:53 AM
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So if Mr. Gerard worked for the Sierra club, would he say the exact same thing. NOT!!! He has lobbyist and toady written all over his oily forehead.

Posted by: Playitagainsam | May 9, 2010 5:41 AM
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....says Jack N. Gerard, the LOBBYIST who has represented (get this): National Mining Association, American Chemistry Council and
American Petroleum Institute.

A K street insider, precisely the sort of shifty character that pollutes our government with industry money and political pressure.

Your opinion is not more valuable to me than the hair ball my cat puked this morning...

Posted by: Mighty7 | May 9, 2010 3:16 AM
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To the oil industry and the "Drill, baby, drill" Republicans, energy independence is an excuse that they know is not real. You can drill everywhere in the US or off shore, and even under Sarah Palin's bed, and we still will not get energy independence.

In any event, they should at least have the decency to wait until the scope of damages become clear from the current spill before they continue to push "Drill, baby, drill".

Posted by: steviana | May 9, 2010 2:16 AM
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Mr. Gerard, not to reconsider self destructive acts is itself short sighted. It's not just this one of many disasterous episodes of Man as an inept "Sorcerer's Apprentice", but these evergrowing negative side effects of technological endeavors that continue to express and breed present and future consequences, as a result of our incestuous relationship with Mother Earth for utilites forbidden by our lack of understanding and the dogma of our two dimensional equations in a polydimensional universe.

But no mere cosmological predication will ever stop the pathology of the eploitative "materialists", only at the point of exhaustion of all that can be consumed from the Earth's innards, like virulent cannibals hell bent on having their own bile for breakfast. Yes, it's all in the name of "survival" and "progress" - survival for the "worker bees", and progress for economically obese!

Posted by: D-0f-G | May 9, 2010 12:45 AM
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We should immediately stop drilling oil everywhere in the world. We will all live on dreams and in harmony with the environment. Just like in the movies.

We should take all the money from the rich and greedy oil corporations, and give to our leader obama, who will distribute it according to his wisdom.

Posted by: skeptic11 | May 8, 2010 6:17 PM
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So if there were an immediate response team with booms galore on 24 hr call day and night like there was supposed to be in Alaska at the time of the Exxon Valdez disaster to immediately contain and siphon off the oil there might not be quite the need to turn the clock forward to a time when we aren't polluting the very world we live on and poisoning ourselves and all life on our tiny planet to death. One tiny planet fit to live on, priceless...

Posted by: Wildthing1 | May 8, 2010 2:38 PM
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"Every credible projection shows the United States will need more oil and natural gas for decades to come."
And every credible projection of oil reserves show that there isn't enough left to meet that demand, regardless of where and how fast we extract it. So as we watch this vast oil spill kill off marine life, food, tourism, and industry in the gulf states perhaps we should reflect on the true costs of our oil addiction and plan for how we are going to quit it.

Posted by: squier13 | May 8, 2010 12:57 PM
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