Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Oil industry launches ad campaign to tout Keystone XL approval

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The American Petroleum Institute is launching a new advertising and media campaign designed to boost support for domestic oil production and the proposed Keystone XL pipeline that would deliver Canadian tar sands crude to Gulf Coast refineries.

The campaign, dubbed "Keys to the Future," is the latest bid by the oil industry’s largest U.S. trade group to advance the controversial pipeline project, which is currently under State Department review.

Ads are already running in inside-the-Beltway publications distributed on Capitol Hill. Online and print advertising also will appear in nine key states: Arkansas, Florida, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

API President Jack Gerard told reporters that the "campaign will help policy makers and the public understand the oil and natural gas industry is a major and constructive force in rebuilding our economy and that it stands ready to do much more."

The advertising push is focusing first on energy security. API is touting its blueprint for weaning the U.S. off oil imported from countries outside North America. Under the analysis, the U.S. could get 92 percent of its liquid energy needs domestically and from Canada by 2030 - compared to 62 percent today.

But that forecast assumes the U.S. approves the Keystone XL pipeline that would transport oilsands crude from Alberta to southeast Texas. It also is contingent on a jump in biofuels production, from eight percent today to 14 percent in 2030.

API’s prediction also is wedded to boosted domestic oil and gas production both on and offshore - including in areas such as along the Pacific Coast where there is strong resistance to offshore drilling.

API has been lobbying Congress and the administration for increased access to domestic oil and gas reserves and approval of the Keystone XL pipeline.

"It’s taken policymakers far too long to take these constructive steps to generate jobs and generate revenues to the federal government," Gerard said.

Critics argue that there's no guarantee that boosted domestic oil and gas drilling - or even imported products from Canada - would remain in the U.S., especially given that the U.S. was a net exporter of petroleum products in February and March, even as gas prices soared.

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