Why energy security is national security
In December 2008, Marine Corps General James Jones (retired) wrote in a Wall Street Journal article, “You can’t use the word energy independence. This is not a valid sentence. It is designed to excite people. But that just won’t happen. »
It was an unsubstantiated factual statement at the time, and it remains so. The moment Jones did that declarationthe U.S. Minerals Management Service estimated that there were approximately 18 billion barrels (BBls) of oil and 77 trillion cubic feet (Tcf) of gas in the outer continental shelf. The US Geological Survey (USGS) estimated that there were at least 10.6 BBls of oil and 8.6 Tcf of gas in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
The potential for American dominance has not waned. Texas, which currently leads the US states in oil production, has huge proven reserves of oil (11.1 BBls) and gas (93.5 Tcf). North Dakota, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado round out the top five in terms of oil production. Crude oil is produced in 32 states. The top five natural gas producing states are Texas, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, Oklahoma and West Virginia.
Wyoming leads in coal production, and West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and North Dakota are also key coal-producing states. In 2019, Wyoming was estimated to have 1.4 trillion tons of total coal resources.
The USGS has estimated that there are probably 1 billion pounds of known and potential uranium resources in deposits in Texas, Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, New Mexico, South Dakota, of Nebraska and Arizona. Uranium is used in the 93 operational nuclear reactors in the United States, supplying 20% of the country’s electricity.
Although the United States dominated world uranium production in 1980, almost none is produced domestically today. Nearly 50% of our uranium supplies now come from Russia, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. The United States has enormous amounts of household energy that we can produce right here, creating thousands of jobs and enriching our economy.
Rolling back US energy dominance
In 2018, the United States became the world’s largest crude oil producer, becoming energy independent for the first time in more than 60 years. This feat defied Jones’ predictions ten years earlier and was accomplished through advances in technology, as well as the pursuit of public policy focused on energy dominance and the recognition that the development of domestic energy supply is always in the best interests of our country.
In the past year alone, we have gone from a Surplus of 4% of national oil and gas production to a deficit of 4% – a swing of 8% in 12 short months. This state of affairs did not happen by accident or because of a lack of easily and economically accessible energy resources. We have more than enough oil, natural gas, coal and uranium to propel this country into the distant future, and the technology to do so, while protecting our environment.
Rather, this situation is the direct result of flawed and destructive federal policy decisions that do nothing to protect the environment while allowing Russia to advance its plans for regional and international domination.
It’s hard to come up with a worse energy policy
It is important to note that Congress was not involved in the decision to instantly move the United States from energy independence to energy dependence. This loss is not due to a change in the laws that apply to our energy industries. Nor was it because of new developments exposing additional hazards in fracking, oil production, coal mining, or the construction of related infrastructure (such as pipelines or deep-sea ports) .
We are in this situation for a simple reason: the current administration has chosen to punish America. He put us last on the world stage, imposing an embargo on new energy development here while enriching and empowering Russia to produce even more oil and natural gas to meet global demand, just as Russia invades the independent country of Ukraine.
In other words, our energy policy not only makes us poorer, causes runaway inflation and weakens our position in the world, it enriches and strengthens one of the few countries on earth that is ready to invade another sovereign nation. based on the recognition that the only countries that could stop its progress depend on it for their energy.
This administration was importing 600,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia, an amount that could easily have been replaced by the 800,000 barrels of oil a day to be transported through the Keystone XL pipeline, which President Biden killed in one stroke. pen on his first day in the office. Meanwhile, President Biden has approved billions of dollars in military aid to Ukraine.
Pay for both sides of the war
To be more blunt: we are paying for both sides of the ground war currently raging across Eastern Europe, all because of this administration’s misguided energy policies.
The American ruling class and its counterparts in Europe have, for the past 30 years, pursued a pact of mutual destruction, squeezing out our core of energy, food and intellectual independence. We have given federal agencies the power to legislate, to enforce “laws” that do not exist, to declare millions of acres of land off-limits to access and production, and to compromise private property and the rights at the water.
The Biden administration has tried to convince people that we can continue to enjoy our historically high standard of living while destroying everything that makes that standard of living possible.
Dependent on totalitarians
The world stage is now planted: our “liberal democracies” are dependent on totalitarian and destructive regimes, and the frantic race to try to divert from this reality has begun. The slashes, harsh words and genuflections at ‘world order’ are designed to cover up the fact that if Western democracies hadn’t chosen to destroy our energy independence, we wouldn’t be in this mess in the first place. .
It’s not complicated for those of us who have even the most basic understanding of reality. If you depend on another country for your energy supply, they will control your policy. If you depend on another country for your food supply, they will control your policy. If you depend on another country to supply you with everything your society needs to live (pharmacy, etc.), it will control your policy.
In even more succinct terms: Energy dependency = energy insecurity; energy insecurity = instability; instability = empowerment of rogue nations.
We won’t be getting out of this mess anytime soon. We can, however, use all our tools to expose how these energy policies that weaken America will ultimately strengthen countries that are willing to invade another country.
If we want to contain tyranny, we must produce our own energy. If we want to allow tyrants, we continue down the path of dependence on their energy production.
Harriet Hageman is a Wyoming native, constitutional lawyer, former member of the Wyoming Republican National Committee, and candidate for the United States House of Representatives in Wyoming.