Advocacy at State and Federal Levels

The energy technology and services sector accounts for more than 600,000 American jobs in 2021. As that number grows, so too does the significance of the critical policy issues facing this sector. The Council is a strong advocate for our members by addressing workforce changes, clean energy research and development, access to energy onshore and offshore, and a balanced approach to trade and tariffs.

RESILIENT WORKFORCE

Job losses in the energy services and technology sector were steep during 2020 due to pandemic-related demand destruction. To gain further insight, the Council analyzed Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) to understand the short- and long-term impacts of workforce changes. Forced to slash positions, the sector’s job losses peaked at 102,000. Since then, the sector has restored approximately 19,000 positions, bringing total COVID-19 related employment cuts to almost 83,000 jobs and more than $9.9 billion in annualized lost wages as of July.

The pandemic and energy transition have had long-term effects on the energy workforce, but our sector still has a big role to play in a lower carbon future. For this reason, the Council advocates for continued research and development towards an inclusive and resilient energy transition.

Ensuring the energy sector is inclusive now and in the future is the basis of the Council’s groundbreaking diversity study, first conducted in 2018 and renewed in 2021. The study established a baseline for gender diversity in the sector and led to action for progress. These included a diversity toolkit, the I&D Business Champion Program and a goal of 20% women in the workforce by 2020.

The updated study results are covered on page 24 and set a baseline for racial and ethnic minorities in the sector. The findings reinforce the need for continued focus on recruitment, retention and advancement opportunities across identities in the workforce. The Council will continue this first of its kind research, promote actions to advance the sector’s diversity and inclusion, and increase its ability to attract the talented workforce needed to lead the energy transition.

At the federal level, the Department of Energy’s Office of Economic Impact and Diversity houses the Energy Workforce Division, which supports opportunities and job creation for underrepresented communities in the energy industry.

A resilient workforce is a key component of the Council’s long-standing focus on enabling what’s next in an energy future that will be driven by innovation. Since the dawn of the U.S. industry, energy services and technology workers have made modern life possible. The workforce has also endured and thrived through difficult transitions as governments and society have changed.

The current energy transition would not be possible without the oil and gas industry, and the men and women who comprise its workforce. The Council continuously advocates at the state and federal level to address policies that impact the energy workforce, are detrimental to local communities, or could undermine local government revenues and U.S. energy security.

In addition to its advocacy, the Council supports the energy workforce through continuous leadership and development trainings. These programs ensure that workers are well rounded from a business perspective and are prepared for the ever-changing energy landscape.

CLEAN ENERGY AND R&D

The Council is committed to ensuring the U.S. and the world can achieve a lower carbon future effectively and efficiently. This is done through support of research and development initiatives, industry investments and public-private partnerships. With the shared goal of providing reliable and efficient energy sources, and the sector’s commitment to research and development of new technologies, the energy workforce will continue to be at the forefront of the energy transition.

The oil and gas industry is a proven leader of investing in new technologies to produce cleaner burning fuels, while maintaining the reliability to keep pace with growing demand. The road to a clean energy future will be built by oil and gas producers who have taken the reins of innovation and led the way to the largest reduction of carbon emissions of any sector.

These companies have the ability and resources to scale new projects and take the big risks needed to make the energy transition a reality. Among these advances are new drilling equipment designs that achieve some of the highest levels of oil and gas production ever while using far fewer rigs. This lowers the cost and environmental impact of oil production. Electrification of rigs is another innovation with environmental and resiliency benefits. The electrified rig operates more reliably and with fewer carbon emissions while eliminating the need for hydraulic fluids onsite, which prevents potential spills.

Automation and digitalization of rigs has improved operational efficiency, and reduced the risk of human error by implementing technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The use of technologies such as CCUS has made huge environmental impact without sacrificing the resilience and reliability needed to support large scale energy demands. Carbon capture allows energy companies to eliminate large scale emissions by storing CO2 or using it for other initiatives. As the energy sector continues investing in CCUS technologies, the benefits can be seen across industries, leading to expanded use in manufacturing, and setting up the entire energy supply chain for a lower carbon future.

Natural gas is a cleaner and easier fuel to produce, and its development and increased use has led to the largest reduction in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in the past decade. Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) is more easily moved and stored, and with an abundance of the resource found in the U.S., exports of the fuel have accelerated in recent years, providing a lower carbon, reliable energy source around the world.

Cleaner energy sources like solar, wind, hydrogen and geothermal technologies are expanding. As these technologies advance, their range of use will continue to grow. Solar applications provide a supplement to large scale energy suppliers, while also serving as a cheaper option when available. Wind energy continues to grow and allow utilities to diversify sources of reliable power generation. Although these forms currently serve as supplements to traditional forms of power generation, technology and investments continue to rise, and these energy sources will continue to grow.

As the race for new technologies continues, oil and gas producers and their service partners will be the key to a reliable and resilient energy transition.

ACCESS TO ENERGY RESOURCES

The Council supports periodic lease sales both offshore and onshore, as is required by the Outer Continental Shelf Act and the Mineral Leasing Act. The organization and its members believe these resources belong to the American people. From 2021-2024 the revenue stream derived from these sales is expected to generate $8.8 billion in revenue for producing states.

The Council supports the court ruling declaring the Biden Administration’s “pause” on new leases was not permitted by federal law, and the Council opposes any effort to prohibit well stimulation on federal lands. Such prohibitions would slash oil and gas production on these lands while dramatically decreasing the revenue and employment.

In addition to revenue, the Council believes U.S. natural gas is one of America’s best weapons to lower carbon emissions domestically and around the world. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), 12% of U.S. natural gas is produced from federal lands and waters. America’s shift from coal to natural gas drove the reduction of more than 2.8 billion metric tons of CO2 emissions since 2005, the largest source of U.S. energy-related carbon technologies savings.

Natural gas has been acknowledged by the EIA and the International Energy Agency as the number one reason the U.S. has reduced more greenhouse gas emissions than any other country over the past 10 years. Additionally, U.S. exports of LNG are a geopolitical tool to lower carbon emissions around the world.

U.S. natural gas can replace dirtier sources of power. Allies such as India and Japan still rely on coal for electricity generation and U.S. natural gas produced on federal lands can help lower that percentage and reduce carbon emissions around the world. Slowing or pausing oil and gas development on federal lands will not cut carbon emissions in the U.S. or around the world but will increase the use of foreign sources of oil and gas and displace American workers.

ACCESS TO FREE MARKETS

The Council supports a balanced approach to tariffs and trade that addresses illicit practices and considers economic implications for U.S. businesses. Such an approach is achievable with stakeholder input and deliberative policymaking. The Council works to curb unfair trade practices and equalize the $32 billion per month trade gap between China and the U.S. Forced technology transfers and commercial espionage are common in China, and some Council members have been hurt by these practices.

Tariffs will not curb China’s unfair trade practices, and instead could unintentionally harm the energy manufacturing and service sectors, areas where the U.S. currently enjoys worldwide dominance. Individual sanctions against bad actors in China may be a preferable longterm strategy.

A worldwide free market where all entities play by the rules will benefit Member Companies in their efforts to provide the world’s economy with the energy it needs to grow and prosper.

The Council believes the U.S. government should support our companies in exporting natural gas, as well as in developing the technology needed to support the energy transition. U.S. exports of cleaner burning natural gas to allies and developing nations can provide reliable energy and lower emissions. By displacing coal (which is still the primary source of power generation in many parts of the world), U.S. natural gas can help nations make their energy transition while lowering worldwide carbon emissions.

The Council also believes the federal government should support the energy technology and services sector so it can provide breakthrough technologies that would allow the world to successfully transition to a lower carbon future. Our sector has the expertise and ability to scale these technologies worldwide. The industry is primed to continue leading the world for years to come, and the federal government should do all that it can to support this endeavor.

The Council will continue to advocate for these important resources to used for the benefit of the American people.

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