GAIN Spokesman Craig Stevens Highlights Need for U.S. Energy Independence amid Suez Canal blockage

Inside Sources published an opinion editorial from former senior advisor to U.S. Energy Secretary Sam Bodman and GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens in which he urges U.S. leadership to consider strengthening U.S. energy production and infrastructure investment. The piece notes a large container ship was recently stranded in Egypt’s Suez Canal for six days – blocking off critical global LNG trade for a number of nations. Incidents like this can cause oil prices to spike and severe delays in critical shipments.

Stevens explains how increasing energy dependence on foreign sources can be detrimental to the U.S.:

“Unsurprisingly, countries that largely rely on importing their energy resources are vulnerable to delays or increased oil and gas costs when incidents like the Suez blockage occur. Ultimately, consumers are the ones who have to pay the price. With gas prices already increasing here in the U.S., imagine if we had even less domestic oil and gas being produced to help meet the fuel needs of both our country and our allies. Or less infrastructure to help safely transport these resources. No matter what kind of resources you think should power our homes and businesses or fuel our vehicles and planes, it is clear the U.S. should prioritize growing domestic energy production and focus on a path towards energy independence.”

The Biden administration’s federal ban on oil and gas leases would undermine the successful progress America has made so far in energy independence. A study from the American Petroleum Institute found that a federal leasing ban would increase U.S. oil imports from foreign sources by approximately 2 million barrels a day and cause our nation to spend more than $500 billion on energy from foreign suppliers.

Stevens goes on to highlight the valuable role of the U.S. energy sector:

“The U.S. oil and gas industry has been a reliable component of American economic success for decades. A study from API reveals in 2015, the industry supported over 10.3 million jobs and contributed more than $1.3 trillion to the U.S. economy. The same study found that between 2011 and 2015, industry jobs increased by 500,000 each year and benefitted all 50 states. Why should we rely upon unstable energy sourcing from the Middle East or South America when right here at home we can create jobs and steady the global energy market? Reducing domestic energy production risks higher gas prices and potential energy shortages at home – while strengthening foreign states by growing their economies.”

It would be a dire mistake for the Biden administration to minimize domestic oil and gas production and increase reliance on unstable, foreign sources like Venezuela or Iran. The Suez Canal blunder should serve as a prime example of why we should continue to support U.S. energy independence.

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