Oil industry doesn’t have much to complain about apparently…

The oil and gas industry lobby group, the American Petroleum Institute, released their annual “State of American Energy” report recently, and it is rather remarkable.

Not because it calls for an increase in renewable energy, or climate change solutions (it categorically does not), but because it has a surprising lack of complaints.

Normally the API report is a laundry list of complaints– pointing out all of the imagined slights of the past year, and wistfully exclaiming that America could be truly energy independent if ONLY we let oil companies drill every last square inch of land.  This year however, there was no call to drill the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, or put drill rigs on the borders of national parks (or worse, inside them). Their continuous plea for more American land and less oversight didn’t even get printed until page 34 of a 44 page report.

Maybe the oil industry is feeling a little blue. After all, Shell Oil’s vaunted mission to drill in the Arctic Ocean has been besieged by mishaps. Or maybe it’s because they know that they have more than 26 million acres of American lands locked up with leases that they aren’t drilling on. Or more than 7,000 drilling permits they aren’t using. Maybe their lack of specific complaints about leasing is that the reforms put in place by the Bureau of Land Management are working (but still have room for improvement). Or that a new report from the Energy Information Administration showed that the United States is going to be importing the least amount of oil since 1987, which points to the fact that the oil and gas industry is booming.

One thing they have been adamant about is protecting the billions of dollars in tax breaks and giveaways that the oil and gas industry receives. These tax breaks aren’t necessary – the profits the oil industry makes are still astronomical – and could easily be put towards better uses. Just one year of the tax breaks to the oil industry would pay for the entire maintenance backlog for the National Wildlife Refuge System.

It’s good to see that the American Petroleum Institute may be recognizing their time as “most favored industry status” here in the nation’s capital is running out. It’s time politicians realize they are too favored and help our growing industries instead of the one that is profiting handsomely.