The American Petroleum Institute (API) has just launched an interactive site called EnergyNation.org. The press release that accompanied this announcement described Energy Nation as a “dynamic community for the millions of men and women in our industry to interact with each other, explore the critical issues facing our industry and provide firsthand perspectives to America’s policymakers.” The home page for the site provides some history as well as background information that explains who the members are and some of the group’s objectives. Energy Nation brings together current and former American energy workers to take the lead in America’s conversation about energy. Since 1859, when Edwin Drake drilled the first viable oil well in Titusville, PA, we have gone to work every day to ensure that Americans have the energy we need when we need it. To get to work and school. To heat our homes. To feed our children. We power the American way of life. We drive the American economy. And now, as a community, we come together to protect America’s energy future. We are geologists, engineers, refinery workers and retail managers, but first, we are parents, community leaders and volunteers. Individually we are citizens, and together we make up a nation. According to Gerardo Uria, director for general membership at API, “Energy Nation is a new grassroots/educational website that API has put together for members of the industry so they can learn about issues that affect the industry and their livelihood and that gives them a way to contact their elected officials.” The first of the issues presented on the site is proposed tax increases, described by Energy Nation as “harmful industry taxes.” The page provides information about tax hikes proposed in the Obama administration’s 2011 budget as well as other proposals by Congress that the group believes will threaten thousands of jobs in the oil and gas industry and cause significant damage to the country’s industrial output, the repercussions of which would be substantial. The page provides a sample letter that you can email to government representatives adding your voice to others with similar concerns. “The US oil and gas industry supports 9.2 million jobs,” Uria said, “but we’ve never before had a tool to mobilize this workforce. This site allows industry employees a means to have their voices heard.” The value of Energy Nation is that it allows members of the oil and gas community to connect, explore critical issues facing the industry, and provide firsthand perspectives to America’s policymakers. "We also have something called Energy Citizens,” Uria said, explaining that this group is made up of non-industry advocates. “The concept is similar,” he said, “but we wanted to have a specific site for those who are not in the industry.” The organization states a goal of supporting balanced, commonsense, long-term solutions to the country’s energy challenges. Whether you’re in the industry or not, that sounds like a good plan. If you’re interested in looking at the site to consider adding your voice, click here.