Ahead of the president’s State of the Union address, API President and CEO Jack Gerard highlighted ways that the natural gas and oil industry can help the United States lead the world in energy while advancing its environmental, economic and national security goals.

“America’s oil and natural gas industry has played a leading role in reducing energy costs for American families and businesses, spurring a manufacturing renaissance, strengthening the nation’s energy security and slashing U.S. carbon emissions even as the market has soared to record highs. With the right policies in place, we can ensure our era of energy abundance is only beginning.”

Infrastructure: “Promoting American infrastructure is critical to delivering the energy that Americans demand every day and will help our country further realize the benefits of natural gas and oil including cleaner air, more jobs, and economic growth. Private investment in U.S. energy infrastructure is a more than $1 trillion proposition and could support more than 1 million jobs per year through 2035.

“A new study from ISO New England finds there’s a better than 80 percent chance that some or all of the region faces rolling blackouts in the near future – chiefly because it can’t get enough natural gas when there’s peak winter demand. For a country that leads the world in natural gas and oil production, having an entire region at the mercy of cold weather is unacceptable. We desperately need to modernize this region’s infrastructure.”

American energy development: “Opening new access to federal natural gas and oil reserves – offshore and onshore – is critical to growing America’s energy future. More than 80 percent of voters support increased development of U.S. oil and natural gas. The Interior Department’s new proposal for its five-year offshore oil and natural gas leasing plan will allow our nation to further harness its energy potential. Combined with our industry’s recent technological advancements, safely and responsibly exploring and developing reserves in the Arctic, Atlantic, Pacific and Eastern Gulf of Mexico will strengthen our national security and increase our self-sufficiency for decades to come.”

Free trade: “NAFTA has played a critical role in facilitating North American energy integration, which enhances U.S. energy security, supports millions of American jobs, and helps make energy more affordable. We look forward to continuing our work with the administration and Congress on policies to keep North American energy integration strong, protecting energy consumers and investors and advancing our nation’s energy leadership throughout the world.”