U.S. Leaders Should Empower U.S. Energy Leadership
Posted November 22, 2019
Our newest video reminds everyone how much the United States has gained from the energy revolution – record-breaking, world-leading production of natural gas and oil – with clips of presidents from both political parties over the years, urgently calling for lower oil imports. They knew America’s national security was tied to increasing the nation’s energy security. Take a look:
As you can see, presidents since Jimmy Carter in the late 1970s recognized that ever-increasing oil imports meant increasing dependency on others for energy.
Carter rightly called the growing dependency a “clear and present danger” to our country. The national economy was indeed being held captive, as President Reagan said, by those abroad who increasingly supplied our energy. The United States was losing the ability to determine its future because it lacked the energy to do so.
The history isn’t up for debate. We were increasingly captive, subject to leveraging by energy-rich nations, many of which weren’t our friends – and the proof was gasoline lines, sudden price spikes and limited economic opportunity. All were dictated by energy scarcity.
That changed with the energy revolution. Modern technologies and ingenuity allowed the U.S. to tap vast shale and tight-rock formations laden with natural gas and oil. Thanks to hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling, the U.S. today is No. 1 in the world in natural gas and oil production. Our net imports have fallen, and government officials predict the U.S. will become a net exporter of energy next year.
Our economy has been strengthened because there’s abundant, affordable energy present to drive it forward.
Our manufacturing sector has been reborn because domestic natural gas and oil have helped lower costs for operations and feed materials to make steel and other products.
Our foreign policy is more robust and we’re safer as a nation because America, not someone else, has become the difference-maker in global oil markets. We’re cushioned against price shocks caused by supply disruptions elsewhere, which wasn’t true even a decade or so ago.
Our environment is cleaner, and we lead the world in reducing energy-related carbon dioxide emissions, now at their lowest levels in a generation – thanks to increasing use of now-abundant natural gas. At the same time, through technologies and industry initiatives such as The Environmental Partnership, we’re continually reducing the methane intensity of that production.
The question, as we’ve posed in recent posts (see here and here), is why anyone would erase these gains by banning hydraulic fracturing, as some candidates for president have advocated. Why would America reject its own natural gas and oil abundance and go back to an era of energy scarcity? Ben Marter, API director of communications:
“U.S. leaders should empower U.S. energy leadership, but restrictive energy policies like a ban on fracking would threaten America's energy security, surrender control of America’s energy future, and retreat from America's energy leadership.”
Take another look at that video, at the concern in President Carter’s face and the gravity in his voice, and listen to the bipartisan presidential chorus calling for more domestic energy and reduced imports. Thanks to the energy revolution, that long-desired moment has arrived. Now some would throw it all away.
It makes no sense, no sense at all.
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.