After a decade at the helm of the leading US oil and gas industry group, American Petroleum Institute president Jack Gerard will step down when his term is up in August. Mr Gerard said he will continue to steer the group in the meantime as it searches for a new president and chief executive. He said in a statement on Wednesday:
“Serving the oil and natural gas industry during this historic time, when an American energy renaissance has made the U.S. the world’s leading producer and refiner of oil and natural gas, has been among the most fulfilling professional experiences of my career. We have accomplished what few would have imagined: important public policy victories at all levels of government, and a revitalized association that has expanded globally and added significant strength to its advocacy capabilities. “
The American Petroleum Institute is the most influential of the US oil industry groups, with about 625 members including large US oil companies like ExxonMobil and Chevron as well as American divisions of international companies such as BP and Royal Dutch Shell.
The election of Donald Trump raised the oil industry’s hopes that they might face a friendlier policy on environment than they did under the previous Obama administration. Indeed, Mr Trump appointed Rex Tillerson, previously chief executive of ExxonMobil, to be his secretary of state and put Scott Pruitt, a former state attorney-general who has been an ally to the industry, in charge of the Environmental Protection Agency. Since taking office last year, the Trump administration has also announced policy changes that are expected to help the industry, including a proposal to dramatically expand offshore drilling.