Stevens Op-ed: Leadership is Needed to Reach Energy Independence

The Washington Times published an op-ed from GAIN spokesman Craig Stevens in which he discusses the importance of domestic energy production to the American economy. With the sharp spike in gasoline and oil prices due in large part to misguided federal policies, Stevens argues that prices can reverse if President Biden supports safe, responsible oil and gas projects here at home. Domestic energy projects ensure a consistent supply of oil needed to keep our economy running, empower energy independence, and put Americans on the job.

In one excerpt from the piece, he notes:

“Thankfully, the United States has the capacity to make sustainable investments in energy here at home. The U.S. has more untapped oil than any country on earth—about 264 billion barrels worth— that can be leveraged to put downward pressure on future prices in the future. It’s a reasonable approach towards becoming energy independent, and a majority of Americans recognize it’s time we utilize it.”

Instead of restrictive policies that disincentivize energy investments, Stevens offers a series of solutions that would spur production of fossil fuels. Restarting the Keystone XL pipeline, expanding the onshore oil and gas leasing process, and scaling back burdensome regulations would all help reestablish the United States as an energy leader. These actions would help deliver energy independence and as he notes, “everything we need is right beneath our feet—it’s time we tap into it.”

Further, Stevens makes note of the importance of pipeline infrastructure as a crucial component in order to meet our energy needs. Pipelines are the safest and most efficient method of transportation for crude oil and natural gas. These projects help connect often remote energy producing areas with storage and refining facilities many miles away. On pipeline infrastructure, Stevens writes:

“To tap into American energy, President Biden should prioritize domestic development and pipeline projects. Our vast pipeline network connects oil patches with refiners and other manufacturers across the country, helping fuel the American economy. Data from the U.S. Department of Transportation show pipelines are the safest way to transport energy.”

Stevens also highlights the many benefits of infrastructure projects like the Dakota Access Pipeline and why it benefits the economy and hardworking American workers. This pipeline, which is currently undergoing review by the Army Corps of Engineers and an updated Environmental Impact Statement is expected in the weeks ahead. The op-ed also highlights recent GAIN poll numbers showing that 83 percent of North Dakotans support keeping the pipeline operational.

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