Yesterday, GAIN spokesman and former chief spokesman for Energy Secretary Sam Bodman, Craig Stevens, joined Ret. Commander Jack Riggins on Lincoln Nebraska’s only local afternoon talk show, Drive Time Lincoln. Stevens and Commander Riggins discussed the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, the constant back and forth on our energy policy and the fact that traditional energy sources like oil and gas are here to stay for the next 50-100 years.
On the Keystone XL Pipeline’s cancellation, Stevens notes that the revocation of its permit two years ago has impacted both the U.S. and global markets, particularly considering Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Due to a congressionally mandated report, the Department of Energy recently released an analysis of the impact that the cancellation of Keystone had on our economy.
Costing upwards of 60,000 jobs, and nearly $10 billion in economic activity, the pipeline would have added roughly 150,000 barrels of Canadian oil into the global marketplace to “alleviate not only the US supply crunches, but supply crunches around the world,” Stevens says. This would have been a “considerable hedge against petro-authoritarians like Vladimir Putin,” and because the Russian President has wielded energy as a weapon, and only gained more power and money in doing so.
Stevens explains that he is very in favor of an all-of-the-above strategy. For example, in Nebraska, there are a lot of wind turbines that can develop electricity in a renewable way, which is a positive for our energy sector. However, a lot of the stakeholders on the left are “absolutely against everything.” What we need to prioritize as a country are resources that can provide relief now, including liquified natural gas, and get it to our consumers. Pursuing renewable sources of energy is good, but it’s “going to be at least 50 to 100 years that we will be reliant on fossil fuels, especially in the transportation sector,” Stevens says, noting the International Energy Administration has said as much.
In closing, Stevens provided Commander Riggins’ listeners with a piece of advice: “Talk to members of congress and talk to their state leaders about the importance of U.S. energy development. It provides us with a hedge against foreign dictators, allows us to export democracy and export capitalism, and allows people around the world to enjoy some of the freedoms and some of the benefits that we do here.”
Listen to the full show here: Drive Time Lincoln