Petroleum Industry Seeking out Candidates Who Are Like-Minded Keystone XL Pipeline a Key Part of Their Agenda

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON -- Temperatures in Washington were colder than they've been in two decades, but the climate was right Tuesday for a leading voice in the petroleum industry to launch a campaign aimed at helping energy-friendly lawmakers prevail in November's midterm elections.

"The collective decisions of the 2014 voters will shape whether, and the extent to which, our nation fulfills its potential as [an] energy superpower," said Jack Gerard, CEO of the American Petroleum Industry.

He spoke Tuesday to 200 energy policy analysts, lobbyists and industry officials during a luncheon at the Newseum, where he offered his trade group's fourth annual report on the state of American energy.

In extended remarks, Mr. Gerard stumped for approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, said hydraulic fracturing is increasingly important in the quest for energy independence, criticized "the outdated political ideology of the professional environmental fringe" and encouraged policy-shapers to rely on science rather than flawed, outdated assumptions and political orthodoxy.

That's what citizens want, Mr. Gerard said. The more they learn the truth about the oil and gas industry, the more supportive they are of the industry's efforts to help the country become energy- independent, he said.

"Energy is one of the few issues that can unite us," he said. It shouldn't be a source of skirmishes and political battles in Washington and in statehouses, Mr. Gerard said.

He used the platform to introduce the institute's "America's Energy, America's Choice" campaign.

"Our goal is to ensure that as our elected representatives and appointed officials make energy policy, the will of the American people is uppermost in their minds and the dominant voice in the energy public policy discussion," he said. …