Attacks on reliable, U.S. energy sources lead to dependence on adversaries
The Washington Times
Originally Published by The Washington Times on September 27, 2022
By U.S. Rep. August Pfluger - - Tuesday, September 27, 2022
The world is at a critical juncture when it comes to energy policy. Europeans have returned to the pre-industrial days of burning wood chips to heat their homes.
The Democrats’ energy agenda is crushing American families. The 8.3% price spikes in the month of August were even worse than expected, and largely driven by the extreme uptick in the price of energy. Compared to one year ago, gas utilities are up 33%, and electricity is 15.8% more expensive. It is no wonder that one in 6 families cannot afford to pay their utility bills. The dire situation in Europe and growing financial turmoil for American families are showing in real time what happens when governments choose to attack reliable energy sources.
Instead of heeding the warning signs, Democrats are recklessly continuing their unrealistic energy transition mission and punishing reliable baseload power to appease Green New Deal zealots. The so-called “Inflation Reduction Act” threw nearly $400 billion towards fledging clean energy projects while including another punitive and illogical tax on energy producers. It seems the President’s immediate solution is to subsidize projects that are years from coming online rather than providing affordable and abundant energy to consumers today.
Unfortunately, the crowning achievement of President Biden’s energy policy will not be the transition he desires; it will be an increased dependence on foreign adversaries and high costs for global consumers. We will become dependent on the Middle East for oil and gas and on China for critical minerals which are essential inputs for modern technology. Domestic manufacturing and jobs will likely move abroad, and economic prosperity witnessed prior to 2020 will not return.
President Biden’s ignorance of market realities will crush the American economy and the workers who fuel it. Oil demand is projected to reach an all-time high in 2022 and again in 2023. Oil and gas will continue to play a dominant role in the economy far beyond 2050, and the U.S. must encourage investment in these companies that do it better than anyone else in the world.
I am fortunate to represent the Permian Basin, the largest secure supply of crude oil in the world and a critical tool for American national security. The region delivers more than 40% of the oil and 16% of the natural gas produced in the US. The Permian is the largest secure supply of crude oil in the world and serves as a key geopolitical tool for America and our allies.
Since President Biden is obviously attempting to appease the unappeasable environmental left, he should know that our domestic production is the cleanest in the world. In fact, methane emissions intensity in the Permian alone dropped nearly 70% between 2011 and 2020—even as oil and natural gas production in the region rose by over 320%.
This progress in emissions reduction has not come from heavy-handed, punitive measures from Washington. It is the result of free market dynamics that have incentivized private investment in technology and innovation that is leading the industry forward. Companies are doing their part by investing in projects, like direct air capture, that will continue to revolutionize emissions reduction and industry standards. It is high time Washington works with producers in the Permian and across the United States, not against them.
Republicans have a plan to restore American energy dominance. On day one, we will take action to provide regulatory certainty to producers, incentivize increased production and exportation of American-made energy, and unravel our growing dependence on Chinese supply chains and foreign adversaries.
A successful energy policy should not lead to an energy transition but an energy expansion. If the U.S. wants to lead the world in energy dominance, we must produce and export more American-made energy around the world—not less.
U.S. Representative August Pfluger, Texas Republican, represents the state’s 11th Congressional District, which includes most of the Permian Basin—the largest oil and gas producing region in the United States. He is member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and serves as the Ranking Member on the Intelligence and Counterterrorism Subcommittee on the Homeland Security Committee.