The Biden Administration has come out swinging against American oil and gas in the name of climate change. In week one, President Biden revoked a key permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and announced a ban on drilling leases on federal lands and waters. While environmental activists have lauded these actions and have urged the Administration to take a similar approach with energy policy and measures against other critical energy infrastructure, it comes with serious consequences for the U.S. economy as well as American national security and energy security interests.
Former U.S. Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette recently warned of the negative impacts caused by limiting American energy capabilities in a piece published in the Washington Examiner.
Regarding Biden’s Day One decision on KXL, Brouillette writes:
This singular decision eliminates thousands of jobs, jettisons a safe and environmentally friendly method of energy transportation, and reduces America’s energy security, as it will force many refineries in Texas and Louisiana to import more oil from the Middle East. In other words, Biden is pursuing the exact opposite of the strategy we used to avoid wars and bring energy independence.
Rather than undercutting American energy capabilities, Brouillette suggests that the Biden administration should “build on the progress made under the Trump administration if it wants to ensure a safe and prosperous future for all Americans.”
That starts with allowing the U.S. to continue producing energy and continue on the path towards energy independence. An “all-of-the-above” policy that leverages all energy resources – including oil and gas – is key to our energy and national security. Brouillette points to these gains, noting:
America is now the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas. We are the second-largest producer of solar and wind energy. And in 2019, we produced the most energy from nuclear power in our nation’s history. Our world-leading production across all energy sources keeps costs down for families and businesses, creates jobs and supports communities, and provides the security of knowing the lights will come on when it gets dark.
Our incredible production, and the technology that facilitates it, allows us to export energy and expertise to countries around the world. That prevents the U.S. and our partners overseas from relying on precarious agreements with Russia or Middle Eastern nations while providing their citizens with precious energy reliability. And ultimately, our improved energy supply posture may reduce the need for current service members to be sent into harm’s way.
But with policies that limit American energy production and capabilities that progress could disappear. Brouillette argues:
But these benefits can only be achieved when pursued together. Remove one, or several, of these sources from the foundation of our national energy strategy, and the house crumbles. Reduce fossil energy production and we send our country back to the 1970s: fuel shortages and sky-high prices. Fail to build infrastructure, and energy cannot be delivered to consumers. Move too quickly in the direction of 100% renewable energy and we risk transporting blackouts to every corner of the nation.
There is widespread bipartisan support for renewable energy sources. But as the US makes this transition, it isn’t “everything or nothing.” The fuels or today are key to developing tomorrow’s resources. Now is not the time to turn our back on natural resources that have got us where we are today. The Biden Administration should consider this when establishing American energy policy throughout the next four years, prioritizing American economic growth and supporting our energy security and national security efforts.