U.S. energy needed “now more than ever” amidst Israel-Hamas conflict, API president says on 1973 Oil Embargo anniversary

October 18, 2023

WASHINGTON, October 18, 2023 – The American Petroleum Institute (API) President and CEO Mike Sommers delivered remarks at the Hudson Institute marking the 50th anniversary of the 1973 Oil Embargo. Sommers acknowledged the parallels between the 1973 crisis in the Middle East that led to the embargo and the crisis unfolding today, expressing strong support for President Biden’s opposition to Hamas-led terrorism and reiterating the need for American leadership on the global stage.

API President and CEO Mike Sommers

“The energy crisis of 1973 taught us many things, but in my mind, the most critical is that American energy strength is a tremendous source of security, prosperity and freedom around the world. In contrast, U.S. energy weakness hinders America and emboldens our adversaries,” Sommers said. “We know that good energy policy in America doesn’t happen with a flip of a switch... Politically, energy can—and should—be a bipartisan and unifying issue. But we must come together as a country and get the details right to chart an energy future that works.”

In his remarks, Sommers highlighted the American energy industry’s role as a stabilizing force during key moments in history, supporting our allies in WWII and again last year following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Sommers contrasted this with America’s weakened position during the Arab Oil Embargo and urged policymakers to heed the lessons of 1973.

“We cannot squander our strategic advantage and retreat on energy leadership... With an unstable world, war in Europe, war in the Middle East, and energy demand outstripping supply, energy security is on the line. We have seen what works – with the right signals from Washington.

“American oil and gas are needed now more than ever. We have the resources; we have the workers; we have the ingenuity. Let’s take to heart the lessons we learned from 1973 and avoid sowing the seeds of the next energy crisis. We can—and must—work together to get this done,” Sommers concluded.

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