Other Voices

Maintaining American energy supremacy

An oil tanker passes a fisherman as it enters a channel near Port Aransas, Texas, heading for Corpus Christi.
An oil tanker passes a fisherman as it enters a channel near Port Aransas, Texas, heading for Corpus Christi. AP

Energy policy come-ons line up like barkers at a sideshow: Come and get your “energy independence,” your “energy security,” your “green plan,” your “all-the-above-strategy.”

Somehow, “just keep winning” never seems to get a shout-out, but I’ve started hoping that one of the two all-but-nominated presidential candidates will give it one.

Why? Because buzzwords come and go, but facts stick around and ultimately are hard to ignore. Here are some:

Never in history have Americans been blessed with such access to our own numerous energy resources and, in that, the kind of distinct competitive advantage that drives growth and prosperity.

It is no understatement to say that American energy has created thousands of jobs at home and secured our prominence around the globe more than any army.

Having been a part of every energy policy debate in Washington for three decades, I can testify that it isn’t rocket science, either.

Donald Trump has outlined some of his ideas, but here’s something more that I wish he would think about:

First, keep in mind that the free market works for energy. Second, embrace our natural and technological advantages. Third, get government out of the way as much as possible.

If our next president looks to these tenets for energy policy, we will be the world energy superpower for decades, if not centuries, to come.

History is on our side.

Whether it’s oil, coal, wind, natural gas, nuclear, or solar, the United States has led in all these areas.

Through technological advances in shale extraction, we created an oil and natural gas renaissance in just a few years. Since 2008, crude oil production in the U.S. has nearly doubled; liquefied natural gas production has experienced similar gains.

Americans have seen their heating and cooling costs go down, as well as prices at the gasoline pump. All that and we put folks back to work.

This boom did not come from an all-knowing minister of petroleum affairs in the Middle East. It came from American ingenuity and the can-do attitude of the private sector.

We have seen crude oil prices climb back over $50 and inch closer to that ever-elusive ideal price where producers and consumers both benefit.

Since Congress lifted the crude oil export ban in December, American oil has started to replace Russian and OPEC oil, and the best is yet to come.

With our technologically advanced oil industry, we should be showing the world how it’s done, not casting doubt on our own reliability as an energy trading partner.

We can protect the environment and create jobs.

The outgoing president’s energy policies haven’t worked, and a few have been ignominious flops.

Rather than embrace our own extractive resources, Obama has oppressed them and instead pumped taxpayer funds into “green” energy companies that could not survive without government backing, and ultimately did not survive even with it.

Renewing oil exports was a start, but we have a long way to go.

If candidate Trump becomes president, I will advise him to envision something different.

He doesn’t have to make American-made energy great again. He just has to support free markets and American capitalism in energy.

U.S. Rep. Joe Barton, a Republican from Ennis, represents Texas congressional District 6.

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