WILLIAM HAUPT III
The author is a contributor to The Center Square
Editor’s note: Beginning this week, the News-Press’ commentaries will include those from The Center Square, a nonprofit source of content for media.
(The Center Square) — “Joe Biden eliminated my job with the stroke of a pen.”
— Suzanne Walker, pipeline welder, in Tennessee
In 1880, the U.S. produced 85% of the world’s crude oil. The four largest U.S. export was kerosene.
Major oil finds in Oklahoma, Texas and California tripled U.S. production by the turn of the century. During World War I, America supplied oil to Britain, France and their allies. And during World War II, Americans rationed gas and oil at home and provided over half of the much-needed fuel for the allied war effort.
But when Franklin D. Roosevelt helped the Middle East double production of cheap crude, it was the kiss of death for U.S. energy independence. As a result of cheap imports, the U.S. cut back on oil production. And by 1970, the U.S. was dependent on imported oil from politically unstable Eastern nations. Since the 1970s, the East has had a major influence on America’s foreign and domestic political and energy policies.
Throughout the ’70s, U.S. dependence on foreign oil influenced her politics and threatened her economic health and global influence. For six decades, America has faced gas rationing, shortages of industrial petroleum and heating oil. The U.S. has been coerced to invest in inferior, less efficient energy resources to fuel the needs of its consumers, and to keep the wheels of industry churning.
It was not until 2019 that the U S. regained its energy independence under President Donald Trump. In 2019, after 62 years, our nation produced more energy than we consumed.
This was a result of President Trump’s support for the hydraulic fracturing production of oil. By June 2020, the U.S. was exporting oil!
“We allowed OPEC to have too much control over America too long.” — Donald Trump
According to the American Energy Alliance’s 2021 scorecard, America’s energy renaissance was due to Mr. Trump’s commitment to use all energy resources to make America energy independent. This included oil and gas, minerals and renewable resources such as wind, geothermal and solar.
Mr. Trump worked with the Energy Department to roll back President Barack Obama’s restrictions on methane gas production. He made it easier to obtain Liquefied Natural Gas mining permits on federal land. He increased drilling permits under the National Environmental Policy Act. Energy Secretary Brouillette said, “Our goal is to simply provide Americans with safer, cleaner, affordable energy.”
In his 2017 budget bill, President Trump gained approval for clean, safe energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He also negotiated re-drilling on federal lands in Kern County, Calif., which had been shut down by environmentalists in 2013 when they filed a lawsuit to halt all drilling.
The biggest step toward American energy independence was Mr. Trump’s approval of the Keystone XL pipeline. To cross over the U.S.-Canadian border it needed presidential approval, and President Barack Obama had told Congress that, “This pipeline is not in our best interests.”
But President Trump disagreed.
“Keystone will not only help Americans, it will help defend world energy freedom.”
— Donald Trump
Without President Obama’s onerous regulations, America achieved the largest decrease in carbon dioxide emissions of any country since 2000 – by telling free markets to self-police. This allowed President Trump to justify removing the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, which was only benefiting China and third world nations at America’s expense. These nations could continue to pollute all they wished.
While America was enjoying energy independence for the first time in six decades, then candidates Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were campaigning to ban hydraulic fracturing. Both candidates had also vowed to block all drilling and exploration on federal lands. President Biden’s energy platform called for new, increased “strict, aggressive methane pollution limits for new and existing oil and gas operations.”
Despite the pandemic proving that people prefer driving their personal vehicles, Mr. Biden and Ms. Harris campaigned to transform the entire U.S. transportation system into electric and renewable fueled mass transit vehicles. Their plan was to eliminate all petroleum-based infrastructure in a decade.
When Joe Biden took office, America was recovering from its worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. With many of the COVID-19 restrictions lifted and employment rising, it was only a matter of days before the economy would pick up where it left off before its international shutdown.
“We learned a lot of lessons from the pandemic, and I know that we’ll profit from them.”
– Joe Biden
The American Energy Alliance had reported that the Keystone Pipeline would reduce emissions by cutting down fuel used to transport oil. But President Biden ordered the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline on his first day in office. This was a promise he made to the climate activists who paid dearly to elect him.
Mr. Biden’s misspent energy policies have haunted him daily as gas prices have no place to go but up.
TC Energy Corp., who owns the Keystone Pipeline along with Alberta, reported that at least 1,000 people lost their jobs immediately due to President Biden’s executive order. They estimate it will affect more than 11,000 more industry jobs, and lost economic revenue will exceed $2 billion by the end of the year.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show that unemployment started to improve when President Biden ended federal handouts. But seasonally adjusted numbers only edged down to 4.6%. Recent Commerce Department figures revealed all of America is now suffering from high inflation and high fuel prices.
“We can end these high gas prices simply by dipping into our oil reserves.” – Sen. Chuck Schumner
By the midterms, President Biden will learn that much of his $1.9 trillion “American Rescue Plan” was used to pay for higher gas and home heating prices caused by his energy policies. With gas averaging $1 more a gallon than last year, Mr. Biden is begging OPEC to increase production and cut export prices on oil.
Last month, the Saudis showed President Biden that they too can take down the American economy any time they wish like Iran and Iraq did to President Jimmy Carter in 1978. As Mr. Biden frantically tries to save face with his war on fossil fuel, the Mideast is turning a deaf ear, praying that he’ll be re-elected in four years.