Over the past decade, the United States has become an energy superpower, more than doubling crude oil production to nearly 11.5 million barrels a day, and in 2018, surpassing Russia in production to become the largest producer in the world.
This means the United States has dramatically reduced its reliance on foreign oil, and today, approximately 70 percent of the crude oil processed in our Gulf Coast refineries comes from America.
This increased production has also allowed the United States to become the fourth largest crude oil exporter and the top LNG exporter in the world. America has great untapped energy potential and we should utilize it now to bolster the energy security of our allies.
The Washington Post recently recognized the importance of exporting our domestic energy to support geopolitical stability, editorializing that:
“This is where realism comes in: As we work toward less reliance on fossil fuels, the United States and its allies must make sure that the oil and gas we still do use comes in sufficient quantity from suppliers politically compatible with the West. The alternative would be shortages and crippling cost increases, for consumers and businesses, and that could undermine the political consensus for a strong stand against Russia. Indeed, it could directly strengthen Russia by increasing prices for its remaining oil and gas exports. … The United States can and should expand gas production for export, consistent with environmental safeguards. From now on, democracies need to set energy policy not only to save the planet but also to stop Russia from dominating it.”
Similarly, The Wall Street Journal argued that the US and the EU should embrace their own energy production to protect themselves from those resources being weaponizing against them, stating: “Europe offers another reminder to the US that blocking fossil-fuel development here won’t keep carbon ‘in the ground.’ It merely hands a strategic weapon to dictators that they will turn around and use against us.”
Additionally, Samantha Gross, the director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at the Brookings Institute, recently wrote that increased domestic production is good for the US and for Europe, saying: “American natural gas (as liquified natural gas, or LNG) is flowing toward Europe in response to their very high prices — a good business deal for US companies, a counterweight to Russia’s power over European energy supply, and a gesture of good will toward our staunchest allies. Although several members of Congress are calling for limiting US natural gas exports in response to inflation at home, it is a terrible idea, harmful to US foreign policy and useless in lowering prices for American consumers.”
AXPC has outlined some specific things that policymakers can do to support domestic energy production to meet demand and support our allies, during this critical time and into the future. First, this administration should clearly and unequivocally signal support for made in America energy production—not just for the next 30 or 60 days when gasoline prices are high, but for the long run. The Biden Administration can also take steps to help support domestic production by reopening federal lands for development, reversing its recent policy guidance on pipelines that makes it harder to bring oil and natural gas to market, and approving permits for LNG export terminals.
All these policies would support domestic production, which is vital to our national security, economic security, and global environmental goals.