US Oil Production Will Help Us Regain International Prestige

President Obama has made it clear that he is no advocate of fossil fuels. He has gone to war against coal and refuses to allow drilling on most federal lands for oil.

Despite this lack of support, the United States actually has a surplus of crude oil and natural gas. Domestic production is way up — to the point that gas prices at the pump has started to come down. There’s even talk of exporting gas and oil — something that has been restricted since the 1973 OPEC embargo.

The United States has a new energy story to tell that lets us operate on the world stage from a position of strength instead of dependence on the shifting prices of foreign oil.

A Wall Street Journal story noted that last week, “A delegate to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries said Saudi Arabia is selling oil to the U.S. for less than it would fetch in Asia.”

This could just be the shot in the arm this economy needs, and welcome respite for millions of Americans living paycheck to paycheck who could lower their energy costs.

In fact, Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of energy and sustainability at University of California, Davis, Graduate School of Management, told The Journal:

“A domestic oil and gas boom will also bring the U.S. back to a stronger economic footing, possibly giving the country back some of the financial sway that previously allowed it to dominate international organizations like the United Nations and the World Bank. U.S. foreign aid and even energy exports could become a stronger counterpoint to continuing Chinese global investment. Beijing might also find soon that its overt policies of aiding problem states like Iran and Syria and thereby tying up the U.S. in conflicts across the Middle East will become more and more counterproductive over time as rising energy costs hit oil-import-dependent China harder than an energy self-sufficient America.”

Think what this means for America. As China grapples with higher energy costs impacting its economy, the United States will be able to cut its energy costs so it can regain its footing and invest more of our resources on activities that create American jobs.

It allows us to move full steam ahead, leveraging lower energy prices while strengthening everything from manufacturing to transportation to the average homeowner’s energy bills.

A report from Chevron noted that “in economic terms, the U.S. crude oil and natural gas industry contributes more than $1 trillion annually to the U.S. economy, or more than 7 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product. And it supports more than 9 million jobs.”

And yet, the government still won’t approve the Keystone XL pipeline, which has the potential to create 20,000 jobs during the pipeline’s initial construction phase and up to a 500,000 more over time. The Keystone XL would play a major part in full utilization of Canada’s oil sands that would be refined and distributed in the United States.

And the story just isn’t about crude oil anymore. Natural gas from shale could be the next big energy export for the United States.

Michael Levi, author of the book “The Power Surge,” told The Washington Post that when it comes to shale gas, the United States is in the sweet spot. He noted:

“We have private land rights in much of the country, so drilling could progress without involvement of politics. We have deep and liquid future markets, so companies could finance drilling by selling gas forward. The country’s densely populated enough so that companies are usually near to a decent source of water and reasonably close to markets to sell gas to, but it’s not so dense that every oil and gas prospect is sitting under a city. And the United States has been aggressively explored for a century, so we know what’s underground.”

The Bakken Shale formation in North Dakota, for example, is pumping 1 million barrels a day of oil.

Some doomsayers speculate that if the United States stops buying foreign oil that we could destabilize allies like Saudi Arabia and other Middle East countries. My reaction is: Where were they when oil imports were killing our economy and driving pump prices to near $6.00 a gallon. Were they worried about destabilizing our economy?

Obama must stop trying to mollify his environmentalist supporters and start thinking about things other than green energy. Oil is strengthening our country and is creating jobs.

To my way of thinking, the best “green energy” is the one that creates green money for our economy.

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