The Oilman Magazine recently published a column from GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens regarding President Biden’s call on OPEC last month to increase oil production. The President’s plea comes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic as travel and the economy continues to recover. The official White House statement reads, “President Biden has made clear that he wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump.”
While we appreciate the President’s concern about access affordable energy, the request raised eyebrows after the administration has promoted a series of policies that hinder critical American energy development and infrastructure investment that would bolster our domestic energy capabilities and national security interests. Stevens writes:
President Biden’s administration has canceled major energy infrastructure projects, suppressed the oil and gas industry through stifling regulation, and made promises to eliminate the cornerstones of American energy without any realistic replacement. When the U.S. and Canada have ample natural energy reserves, developing our own resources seems a better policy than begging the Middle Eastern oil cartel.
How then, do we reconcile this with the fact that Keystone XL was shut down within days of President Biden taking office? (And imagine, had the Obama Biden Administration not denied – for purely political motivations – the cross-border permit for Keystone a decade ago, the line could be providing energy to the markets already.) Or his administration’s policies that limit the responsible development of our natural resources on federal lands? If reliable, affordable energy is the goal, why are the most effective, safe and consistent elements of energy production and transportation being eradicated here in the U.S.? Sure, we can import oil and natural gas from foreign countries, but this comes with a price. We offer up our energy independence to our adversaries, who gladly hoard it.
With reliable, affordable energy in the crosshairs, we need to shift our national focus. Instead of urging producers overseas to produce and ship more energy, policymakers must encourage increased energy development here at home and bolster domestic energy infrastructure that has the capacity to supply the consistent, cost-effective resources we critically need. Among others, infrastructure assets like the Dakota Access Pipeline; Line 3 and Line 5 in Minnesota and Michigan; Mountain Valley and Atlantic Coast pipelines are four and a half times safer than transporting oil by train or truck and would support U.S. energy independence and economic and national security.
Unlike many of the challenges President Biden faces, ensuring U.S. energy availability is easy to solve. Allow the industry to safely develop and transport North America’s vast energy resources, instead of hoping that foreign nation-states will bail us out.