Staples: Increasing Oil and Gas Production to Strengthen National Security | Opinion

In the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis, the US Energy Secretary called on US energy producers to increase production “to stabilize the market and minimize harm to American families”.

This comes after more than a year of this administration taking deliberate action to discourage, and in some cases shut down, oil and natural gas production in our country, in addition to calling for a halt to drilling during the 2020 campaign. American consumers are suffering from soaring prices and feeling the repercussions of canceled pipeline projects, interrupted leases on federal lands, delayed approvals for permits and discouragement from further expansion – from bad decisions to short view which are exacerbated by the war.

This crisis should remind us that we need a strategic and collaborative US energy policy that treats oil and natural gas as an asset, not a liability. Just months ago, the administration’s calls for foreign countries to increase production, while undermining local jobs and local investment, had a chilling effect on domestic energy development. Efforts to shame lenders into providing capital to oil and gas companies have further slowed energy production and the development of critical infrastructure.

Expanding oil and natural gas production and transportation requires foresight, planning and investment grounded in certainty. Obtaining permits and permissions to access rights of way can take years – more so with an administration determined to impede development. The oil and natural gas industry shares a commitment to meeting the energy needs of our nation and its allies and operating as quickly as possible given the consequences of political decisions to slow things down.

The conflict in Ukraine painfully demonstrates that national security and energy security are inextricably linked. The United States plays an important role in contributing to stability by providing reliable energy at home and abroad. Texas is the national leader in oil and natural gas production, responsible for 43% of total US oil production and 26% of total US natural gas production in 2021. If the Texas was its own country, it would be the third largest producer of natural gas. in the world, just behind the United States and Russia.

According to the Energy Information Administration, the United States met more than a quarter of Europe’s demand for liquefied natural gas (LNG) last year, with the majority of those exports coming from the US Gulf Coast. Each year, Texas exports approximately 4 billion cubic feet of LNG per day. Looking ahead, that’s enough natural gas to meet the needs of 22 million homes every day. And our domestic export capacity is on track to be the largest in the world by the end of 2022, according to the American Petroleum Institute. Without LNG shipped from the Gulf Coast, Europe would suffer an even greater energy crisis.

Clearly, we have the resources and an unparalleled global commitment to the environment to responsibly meet the energy needs of our country and our allies. According to data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, as recently reported by the Houston Chronicle, CO2 emissions in the United States decreased by more than 8% between 2010 and 2019 while they increased in China and Russia by more than 25% and 21% over the same period. We need to put the focus back on American energy security and recognize that no one is producing the oil and natural gas the world needs in a more environmentally friendly way than American producers.

Texas and America are poised to take the lead if federal policymakers enact forward-thinking, collaborative policies that harness the natural resources, technology and innovation that have made this nation the world leader in energy advancements. and environmental. We need a strategic US energy policy, not a mole game.

— Todd Staples is president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association and former Texas commissioner of agriculture.

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