Despite Green Energy Push, API Chief Says Oil and Gas Will Provide 80% of U.S. Energy Needs Through 2040

By Penny Starr | January 5, 2016 | 9:40 PM EST

Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the trade association American Petroleum Institute, spoke about his organization's 2016 State of American Energy report in Washington, D.C. on Jan. 5, 2016. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – American Petroleum Institute president and CEO Jack Gerard said Tuesday that federal government data show the United States will continue to rely on fossil fuels as its main source of energy for decades to come, despite efforts by environmentalists to work toward a goal of banning them.

CNSNews.com asked Gerard about the United Nations climate change conference in Paris last month at which scientists and environmentalists expressed the belief that addressing climate change would require an eventual ban on all fossil fuels.

“The experts will tell you that by 2040, 80 percent of the energy resource we’ll rely on in the United States will continue to be fossil fuels,” he said.

Gerard was speaking at a press conference  after addressing the oil and gas trade association’s annual State of American Energy event in Washington, D.C.

According to the federal Energy Information Administration, although renewable and nuclear are the fast-growing energy sources – each increasing by 2.5 percent a year – “fossil fuels continue to supply nearly 80% of world energy use through 2040.”

In his prepared remarks, Gerard said the U.S. was the world’s leader in gas and oil production while also leading the world in carbon reductions – thanks, in part, to increased production of fossil fuels, specifically liquefied natural gas (LNG).

“The science today shows us that natural gas is a key opportunity to further improve the environment,” he said. “I would suggest one of the things we should look at is how do we expedite and move LNG export opportunities in the United States.”

“Fortunately, we know how to bring about America’s brighter energy future, which means lower cost for American consumers, a cleaner environment and American energy leadership, because it is today’s reality,” Gerard said.

“We call it the U.S. model.”

“Simultaneously, the United States is leading the world in energy production, we have one of the strongest western economies, and are leading the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions – a trifecta of success unmatched by any other nation,” Gerard said.

Gerard told CNSNews.com at the press conference that the U.S. should “build on the success” in these areas.

“The reality is, we are leading the world and how did we get there?” Gerard said. “That’s the simple point we’re trying to make, as you look and you build on the success we have today, we believe we can deal with the challenge of carbon. But we can also do it in other ways, other than those driven purely by political ideology.”