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Gerard to President Obama: Seize the American moment to reduce income inequality

WASHINGTON, Jan. 28, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Jack Gerard laid out smart energy policies that President Obama can take unilaterally to achieve his State of the Union goal of relieving income inequality:

"If President Obama has decided to take unilateral action, he can fight income inequality by seizing this once-in-a-lifetime energy moment by allowing oil and natural gas jobs that pay seven times the minimum wage.

"The American energy renaissance gives us a unique opportunity to revitalize our economy and become a global energy superpower while helping Americans get back to work.  The president has the opportunity to seize this moment by approving the Keystone XL pipeline, opening up new areas for responsible energy development, and pulling back unnecessary and costly new regulations. These pro-growth energy policies would create millions of stable, good paying jobs, which is the American people's number one priority.  If the president is serious about combating income inequality, we must take full advantage of the opportunities in energy that are before us.

"Unfortunately, the president called for increased taxes on the oil and natural gas industry he needs to close the income gap and create jobs. Punishing energy companies by raising taxes is not sound energy policy and could lead to less energy, less government revenue, and fewer jobs. The oil and natural gas industry already contributes $85 million a day to the federal government—a larger contributor of government revenue than any other industry in the United States."

API also released a video – "For a stronger union, choose energy" – highlighting how the oil and natural gas industry has helped achieve the president's previous State of the Union goals.

API is the only national trade association representing all facets of the oil and natural gas industry, which supports 9.8 million U.S. jobs and 8 percent of the U.S. economy. API's more than 580 members include large integrated companies, as well as exploration and production, refining, marketing, pipeline, and marine businesses, and service and supply firms. They provide most of the nation's energy and are backed by a growing grassroots movement of more than 20 million Americans.

SOURCE American Petroleum Institute

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