American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers joined industry leaders from across the energy sector at the U.S. Energy Association’s annual forum in Washington today to discuss the state of the industry and the importance of sustaining American energy leadership.

“The State of the Energy Industry in 2020 is one of U.S. leadership in three key ways – energy development, emissions reductions and environmental performance,” Sommers said. “The natural gas and oil industry sees all three as top priorities, and we’re executing on all of them at the same time.”

Sommers noted that America is now the number one producer of natural gas and oil and that last year, for the first time since the 1950s, the U.S. became a net exporter of total energy. At the same time, U.S. emissions have declined to their lowest levels in a generation.

“U.S. energy leadership offers stability in chaotic times and insulates America from unreliable suppliers of energy,” Sommers said. “We saw this reality in action just a few weeks ago. America’s vast energy resources helped stave off economic turmoil and price hikes at the pump when our nation stood on the brink of war with Iran. A few years ago, such stability would be unheard of … You can thank the shale revolution and the sheer fact that American oil production doubled over the last decade. That surge means we import millions fewer barrels of oil per day from other nations.”

Sommers also outlined key policy priorities for the industry, including infrastructure, trade and carbon-capture.

“No matter which presidential candidate you support, we can all come together on specific policy priorities,” Sommers said. “For example, America could unlock an estimated $1 trillion in new private infrastructure investments to safely and efficiently deliver energy from where it is to where it isn’t. Reforming the National Environmental Policy Act is a critical step toward meeting growing demand for cleaner energy and unleashing job-creating infrastructure projects delayed by bureaucracy.”

For a copy of Sommers’ remarks, click here.