The importance of American energy development

The Biden energy policy is not just radically naïve and economically destructive; it's also dangerous.  From placing constraints on drilling for oil and gas to stopping pipelines, the Biden policy puts America's critical infrastructure at risk and the safety and freedom of allies in peril, and it dismisses the importance of American jobs to appease environmental extremists.

We don't have to pit the environment against the economy.  We can develop clean sources, create more American jobs, and develop more American energy.  Renewable energy companies today are creating thousands of American jobs, contributing significant investments in American manufacturing, and proving that they can stand on their own, competing with conventional generation on price.

But the investment in clean energy doesn't mean we must be hostile to developing conventional fuels.  The fact is, America should pursue an "all of the above" energy policy because it is in our national security interests to do so.

In recent years, America has seen major growth in our national solar power capacity as well as large-scale quantities of natural gas reserves, both of which are positive developments.  It means we are independent of Middle East and Russian gas, can add American jobs, and will have a cleaner planet.

But Washington Democrats' extreme, progressive agenda would have us transition from our current 20-percent renewable sourcing to 100 percent of our national energy mix in only a few years.  This is dangerously naïve, as we can only reliably transition the U.S. electrical grid by 2 percent per year to renewable power (up from 1 percent per year today).

When America exports its oil and gas, our friends and allies are less dependent on hostile sources of energy.  European nations receiving American LNG are less reliant on a Russian dictator's whims.  In this sense, our energy resources are part of our security arsenal, just as much as our weapons capabilities.  Their deployment makes the world safer.

President Biden would make the world more dangerous to advance empty environmental talking points.  He wants to shut down drilling in Alaska, despite its strategic national value.  With a stroke of the pen, he shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, and then months later we saw how vulnerable we are as a nation when Russian cyber-attackers shut down just one pipeline, the Colonial Pipeline, that led to fuel shortages in the Southeastern United States.

This ransomware attack was a potential harbinger, foretelling asymmetrical warfare, launched with cyber-tools, by nefarious adversaries in Russia, China, and Iran, targeting our fuel and grid vulnerabilities.  Eliminating pipelines and stopping drilling on environmental grounds is dangerous to the security of our country.

Moreover, the environmental benefits are illusory.  For instance, in killing 11,000 jobs associated with the Keystone Pipeline, the president didn't protect the planet; he simply shifted the environmental risks to other parts of the globe.  After all, there remains a market for Canadian tar sands even if America is no longer willing to transport them.

If our leaders think they can save the planet by killing American industry and Americans' jobs, while China and India cheat on environmental treaties, then one must wonder...whom are they working for?

Our approach should be to prioritize our energy independence with a clean, diversified mix of natural gas, solar power, nuclear, hydro, and other sources, providing America with low-cost energy, more well-paying American energy jobs, and a more secure planet for the freedom-loving nations of the world.

The Democrats have the wrong priorities, and we need to stop their dangerous agenda, especially as it pertains to energy.

Jim Lamon is founder and chairman of Arizona-based DEPCOM Power, one of the fastest-growing solar power companies in the U.S. He is running to replace Democrat Mark Kelly in the U.S. Senate.

Image: Oil wells in Buttonwillow, California (cropped) by Antandrus.  CC BY-SA 3.0.

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