Here’s the good news — the world isn’t going to end in 12 years. But here’s the bad news — America will lose her energy independence much faster than that if reckless politicians continue driving climate panic and supporting anti-energy policies.
The Senate budget reconciliation bill loaded with “climate action” is just one of many wrong-headed moves by politicians, extreme environmentalists, celebrities, and biased media that misinforms voters and twists public opinion — and directly attacks the oil and gas industry, which hurts all Americans.
In the United States, oil and gas workers are producing cleaner-than-ever-before energy that powers America and fuels the world. The U.S. has also reduced emissions — both of greenhouse gases and of pollutants that actually cause human harm — by unprecedented levels, even in the midst of the shale revolution. Carbon dioxide emissions dropped 12% from 2005-2019, and our air is now the cleanest on record, with criteria air pollutants down 78% in the last 50 years. Meanwhile, America is booming, proving that prosperity and environmental quality go hand-in-hand. We can have our cake and eat it too.
This doesn’t need to be a partisan issue. Both former President Barack Obama and former President Donald Trump lauded our great oil and gas industry and America’s drive for energy independence. But liberal administrations have weaponized the bureaucratic state to strangle responsible American energy producers with burdensome, overzealous, and unnecessary regulations that have bankrupted many small businesses, forced consolidation, and cost many Americans our jobs.
Those regulations forced even super-major producers to explore and develop more outside the United States in order to remain profitable and return a dividend to their investors. Many of our jobs left America. Many investors went broke.
As far back as the Bush administration, the federal government has taken our taxpayer dollars to subsidize foreign oil and gas projects, even further strangling American energy producers. Over the last two decades, U.S. taxpayers footed the bill for tens of billions in foreign oil and gas projects. Much of that went to Mexico’s government-owned Pemex. Our tax dollars should not finance foreign competition.
Oil and gas is a global industry. Supply and demand is the game. Some Americans are eager to kill the fossil fuel industry and cross their fingers that other countries will stop producing crude oil and natural gas too. This naïve belief will make global pollution and emissions worse — not better. Unstable, heavily polluting countries Russia, Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, China, Mexico, Iran, Namibia, Guyana, Suriname, Libya, and Iraq will supply the world’s oil and natural gas demands — without our environmentally conscious standards — if America doesn’t step up and proudly lead the world in clean, affordable, abundant energy.
As China has continued to invest in oil and gas around the world, anti-energy sentiments in our own halls of government and the public at large are threatening our economy and national security.
In 2019, our 11.3 million American energy jobs represented 7.9% of the country’s GDP and contributed billions to federal, state, and local revenue funds for schools, roads, hospitals, and so much more.
Killing American oil and gas jobs will hurt all Americans by raising energy costs, increasing taxes, leading to higher unemployment, raising global emissions, and weakening our national security.
When President Biden said that we need to “unify” and “come together,” he was right — but we must do so over sensible, pro-energy policies that will benefit all Americans and the world.
This commentary originally appeared in The Cannon Online on August 24, 2021.