"Extreme" regulations are costing thousands of jobs and billions in investments for the oil and natural gas industry, said Jack Gerard, president and CEO of the American Petroleum Institute. "Why would you punish one of the ... industries that is creating more revenue for the federal government today than perhaps any industry? Why would you penalize them?" asked Gerard. Permitting oil and gas companies to drill domestically could generate jobs and would help the country reduce its dependence on energy imports, he said.