Brigham McCown, GAIN member and former Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), appeared on The Jim Bohannon Show to discuss the ongoing energy crisis in Europe and how it is affecting oil and gas markets here in the United States. McCown notes the polarization of energy discussions, observing that there are “two different camps promoting either all fossil fuels or all renewables, but frankly, the answer is both.” As a means to ensure American energy independence and price stability, he recommends an “all-of-the-above energy approach,” not just a reliance on one path forward.
The consequences of a narrow focus are clear. Rather than encourage private sector businesses to deploy their capital to increase production of both fossil fuels and renewable energy, the Biden administration has fostered an inhospitable environment for oil and gas companies. McCown notes the unfortunate reality of a “dearth of investment” that followed President Biden’s election after promising to end the fossil fuel industry. Not even three years ago, the U.S. was the world’s largest exporter of natural gas, lowering gas prices and dependency on foreign nations. However, as McCown continues, “the last few years we’ve been backsliding,” and “producing less than we did years ago.” The American consumer is now paying for this divestment at the pump, as we are producing about 1.5 million fewer barrels per day today than we were pre-COVID.
McCown discusses policy similarities between the U.S. and Europe. “Right now we have an administration that has doubled down on green policy,” he says, when we need it all. The “euphoria with being green at the expense of full policy solutions,” that has characterized European energy policy has crept into American politics.
McCown offers a solution: invest and support an all-the-above energy agenda. He says, “if we’re not careful, we are going to end up in the exact same position Europe is in today because they did the same thing.” The U.S. must heed the warning signs from our allies across the pond.
We have the domestic resources to remain energy independent and strengthen our security. Instead of solely promoting renewables, an all-of-the-above approach is the most rational path forward to avoid an increase in energy costs. Encouraging more domestic energy infrastructure is the right place for the administration to start, as it signals to both the fossil fuel and renewable industries that they have the government’s support.
Listen to more of Brigham McCown’s interview with Jim Bohannon here: The Jim Bohannon Show.