Natural Gas and Oil – Securing America’s Interests and Safety
Posted June 4, 2019
Some important points as the U.S. House Select Committee on Intelligence meets this week to talk about the impacts of climate change on U.S. security interests, global humanitarian conditions and other issues:
- U.S. security is the responsibility of the U.S. military, which is the largest government user of energy, ranking ahead of many countries in overall energy use. More than any other energy sources and by a wide margin, natural gas and oil power America’s military.
- U.S. national security is directly tied to having access to safe, reliable, abundant energy and also decreasing dependence on energy supplied by other nations. Thanks to the U.S. energy revolution, resulting in record oil production, America’s dependence on others has fallen significantly since 2006.
- On the humanitarian issue, U.S. natural gas and oil offer a golden opportunity to lift regions and even entire countries out of energy poverty – with power for electricity that’s unavailable to nearly 1 billion people on earth and clean fuel for home heating and cooking, which about 2.7 billion people currently live without.
There are a lot of factors that affect U.S. global interests, but it’s hard to think of anything more important than the three points above.
Certainly, lowering emissions is important, too. Our industry is innovating and using technology to capture as much methane as possible, even as it supplies our country with the energy it needs to grow the economy, add jobs and create opportunity – all of which are critically important to Americans’ well-being. Indeed, increased use of natural gas is the No. 1 reason U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions are at their lowest levels in a generation.
Yet, our hopes and expectations for quality lives go beyond the climate conversation. These are also supported by abundant energy for economic growth and opportunity and the staples of modern life – life-saving medical technologies, municipal-scale water filtration systems, building materials, clothing and more – all based on petroleum and natural gas hydrocarbons.
We can do all of the above with continued safe and responsible natural gas and oil development here at home.
At the same time, surging domestic energy production enables the United States to do good around world. Our military is a stabilizing presence for sure, but American energy abundance is creating opportunities for the U.S. to help others around the world who’re trapped in impoverished, unhealthy conditions for a lack of energy.
So, as policymakers in Washington talk about climate change and U.S. interests, let’s keep in mind that U.S. interests are broad and multi-layered, and largely served by abundant domestic energy.
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.