The Geo-Political Impact Of America’s Energy Independence

In January of this year, Forbes Magazine reported:

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published their 2019 Annual Energy Outlook. Whenever your optimism on the prospects for U.S. energy infrastructure waivers, this will restore your confidence. The outlook for domestic energy production is bullish, and in many cases more so than a year ago.

For example, in their 2018 report, the EIA’s Reference Case projected that the U.S. would eventually become a net energy exporter. Now, thanks to stronger crude and liquids production, they expect that milestone to be reached next year.

We have reached that milestone. So what is the impact? Fist of all, we are free of the threat of an oil boycott by OPEC (Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries). The oil embargo placed on the United States by OPEC in the early 1970’s rapidly increased gasoline prices and caused shortages at the gas pumps. We don’t want to do that again. Aside from the impact on average Americans, we need gas to fuel our military. However, being energy independent does not entirely free us from having to be nice to Arab countries that don’t like us. Because of an agreement made between Richard Nixon and Saudi Arabia, oil is traded in American dollars. This is one of the reasons American dollars still have value despite our large national debt. The Saudis have been responsible for seeing that oil continues to be traded in American dollars, so it is in our best interest to be nice to them. The Saudis are also moving toward a friendlier relationship to Israel because of fear of Iran. Being energy independent allows us to support the nation of Israel without fearing another oil embargo.

American energy independence also has a potential impact on our relations with Russia and Europe.

In July 2018, The Washington Post posted an article about Europe’s dependence on Russian oil.

The article notes:

Putin has proved through his actions that he views everything as a potential tool to gain an advantage economically, politically and militarily. One of his most powerful tools is Russia’s energy resources, and he has used Europe’s reliance on these resources to strengthen his position. Some European leaders have been all too willing to take the bait.

This was the point President Trump was making at a NATO summit this month. He caused a stir for speaking undiplomatically in a room of diplomats. He was also pointing out what everyone in the room already knew: Europe’s reliance on Russian natural gas undermines its security.

Trump also understands, as he demonstrated this week in his talks with European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, that the United States can and should help solve this problem. By supplying our own natural gas reserves to Europe, the United States can loosen Putin’s economic grip on the region.

The article concludes:

By increasing exports of American natural gas, the United States can help our NATO allies escape Russian strong-arming. America is the world’s leading producer of clean, versatile natural gas. There are two export facilities in the United States. able to ship natural gas overseas — one in Maryland and one in Louisiana. Three more are due to be operational by the end of this year, and at least 20 additional projects are awaiting federal permits. We must speed up these approvals to give our allies alternatives to Russian gas.

We have plenty of natural gas to meet Americans’ needs and increase our exports. Independent studies have found that prices will remain low even with significant gas exports. Now we just need to clear away the regulatory hurdles and show our European allies that U.S. natural gas is a wiser option than Russia’s.

When Putin looks at natural gas, he thinks of politics, he thinks of money and he thinks of power. It is in America’s national security interests to help our allies reduce their dependence on Russian energy. We need to make clear how important it is for their own security, as well.

Our NATO alliance is strong. Ending Europe’s dependence on Russian energy will make it even stronger.

An energy-independent America is good for America, good for Europe, and good for Israel.

Is Anyone In Congress Reading The Constitution ?

 

Yesterday The Hill reported that six House Democrats, including Dennis Kucinich, have proposed a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control gas profits. When are they going to propose a “Reasonable Profits Board” to control movie industry profits, sports organization profits, college profits, etc.? Why are they only picking on the oil industry? Because they have an ulterior motive. When you read down the article a bit, you find it.

The article reports:

According to the bill, a windfall tax of 50 percent would be applied when the sale of oil or gas leads to a profit of between 100 percent and 102 percent of a reasonable profit. The windfall tax would jump to 75 percent when the profit is between 102 and 105 percent of a reasonable profit, and above that, the windfall tax would be 100 percent. The bill also specifies that the oil-and-gas companies, as the seller, would have to pay this tax.

Kucinich said these tax revenues would be used to fund alternative transportation programs when oil-and-gas prices spike.

What is going on here? It’s simple. This is using class warfare to channel the anger that will occur when oil and gas prices go up because of America’s energy policies. Why am I blaming America’s energy policies? The Obama Administration just ended the Keystone Pipeline project, which would have helped with America’s energy independence and helped keep gas and oil prices stable. Please note that the federal tax on gasoline is 18 cents per gallon. The government does nothing to earn that tax money–no exploration, no scientific research, etc., yet they collect money every time an American fills up his gas tank.

The government does not have the right to judge whether any corporation’s profits are reasonable or not. Blaming the oil companies for the Administration’s failure to encourage domestic energy production is simply wrong. At some point the American people will wake up and see what is going on if they haven’t already. The people proposing this should be voted out of the House of Representatives this year!

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The Continuing Attack On Domestic Energy Production

I’m not quite sure why the radical environmentalists (and the Obama administration) are so opposed to domestic energy production, but their actions indicate that they are. The recent postponement (read that as opposition) to the Keystone Pipeline is one example. Now they are attempting to stop hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”). Fracking is the process being used in the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota. I need to mention at this point that the development of the Bakken oil fields has resulted in an unemployment rate in North Dakota of 3.5 percent in October 2011.

On Thursday the Washington Examiner posted an article on some of the latest attacks on the process of fracking.

The article reports:

Fracking was first used in Oklahoma in the 1940s and in the years since has been employed in more than a million oil and gas wells across the nation. There is not a single independently documented instance of groundwater contamination by fracking anywhere in the country, a fact that was confirmed as recently as May by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson during congressional testimony.

However, the EPA is not deterred by mere facts. On Thursday the EPA announced that they had found chemicals “likely” associated with fracking at a drilling site near Pavilion, Wyoming.

The article further reports:

“EPA also re-tested private and public drinking water wells in the community. The samples were consistent with chemicals identified in earlier EPA results released in 2010 and are generally below established health and safety standards.” By “below,” the EPA means that chemicals in the groundwater do not exceed acceptable health and safety standards.

Please follow the link to read the entire article to discover what the EPA really found and what it means. At some point you have to wonder why the EPA and the Obama administration are working so hard to eliminate a domestic energy program that has the potential to provide jobs for Americans and to turn the economy around.

 

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