Choose American Energy, Not Increased Foreign Dependency
Posted October 11, 2022
What’s more disturbing for American families and businesses and U.S. energy security: Last week’s OPEC+ decision, in the middle of a global energy crisis, to cut millions of barrels of daily crude oil production – or the Biden administration’s surprise that the cut was announced?
Read Dr. Dean Foreman’s analysis to better understand the factors behind the OPEC+ announcement. Referring to the administration’s OPEC strategy, words like “misunderstood” and “miscalculation” certainly raise some flags. Bloomberg reported (emphasis added):
Bewildered Biden administration officials hunkered down Thursday in the wake of a shock oil production cut by Saudi Arabia and its OPEC+ allies, hoping that crude prices don’t spike ahead of November elections and end Democratic control of Congress.
But while Biden said he’s considering “alternatives,” officials made clear that the rapid developments had outpaced any decision. Top Biden energy adviser Amos Hochstein said Thursday on Bloomberg Television that after a meeting with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman less than two weeks ago, he did not have the impression that OPEC+ was poised for its most dramatic cut since the beginning of the pandemic. “I guess a lot can happen in two weeks in the global markets,” Hochstein said.
There’s no other way to view the events of last week as a significant setback for U.S. diplomacy and a rebuff of U.S. energy policy.
There’s also no other way the Biden administration should go for its policy response: Commit wholeheartedly to supporting and advancing American oil and natural gas production, now and in the future. American energy, not foreign energy, is the key to addressing the global energy crisis and strengthening American energy security.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers was interviewed last week by Fox News on the OPEC+ announcement that seems to have left much of official Washington dumbfounded:
“I think this is really bad news for American consumers, but the truth of the matter is that the dependency on foreign countries for American oil and gas is a choice – and it's a choice this administration has made repeatedly, unfortunately, with the policies that they have pursued so far.”
Sommers pointed to American energy for stable and affordable energy under U.S. control. He said while U.S. oil production has been increasing, it remains about 1 million barrels per day below production highs logged in late 2019 and early 2020. Sommers said Washington policies have undermined American oil and natural gas production and, therefore, energy leadership.
But the situation can be helped. It’s under our control. API’s “10 in 2022” plan lays out actions Washington can take to unleash American energy, drive the economy and make our energy future more secure. But this involves a course correction in Washington. Sommers:
“We have the resources here in the United States to develop right now, and, unfortunately, this administration … is actually talking about stopping development in the Gulf of Mexico. They're not putting forward a new plan to [support Gulf development]. We're advancing policies that are going to develop these resources for American consumers. But, again, dependency on OPEC and other foreign countries for our energy is a choice, and policymakers can reverse that choice – if we do the right things.”
Frank Macchiarola, API senior vice president of Policy, Economics and Regulatory Affairs, follow up in an interview with Yahoo Finance:
“[The OPEC+ production cut is] a reminder again of how important it is to produce energy here in the United States and not have to rely on foreign countries like the OPEC+ nations for our energy. We have the capacity to continue to strengthen our energy security by tapping into the resources we have right here at home, and the more we do that the less we're reliant and driven by decisions that are made somewhere else.”
Through its repeated requests to OPEC that it increase its crude oil production – while bypassing American producers, neglecting to hold federal lease sales onshore and offshore, and continuing to talk about short-term oil and natural gas – the administration, as Sommers suggested, has chosen increased energy dependency over greater American energy self-sufficiency.
It’s long past time to choose American 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.