Our country must do more to achieve energy independence and to produce cleaner sources of energy. There are steps we need to implement over time to change the way we use energy and reduce our use of some types of carbon-based fuels. But if the radical approach favored by the president and liberals in Congress becomes law, American families and businesses will see tax hikes, skyrocketing energy costs and fewer jobs.
America is a country rich in energy from both traditional sources, as well as emerging energy technologies. Like the country as a whole, Oklahoma is also rich in diverse energy sources. Oil and natural gas production has shaped the economy since shortly after statehood and continues to do so today. We all know that Oklahoma is “where the wind comes sweeping down the plains.” Anyone who has traveled in Western Oklahoma has seen the proliferation of wind farms taking that wind and turning it into energy. America needs an “all of the above” energy strategy, and Oklahoma is leading the way.
Unfortunately, America is not fully utilizing the energy we have along with the energy being produced by our North American neighbors. The Keystone XL pipeline would bring Canadian produced oil into the United States to be refined and marketed. Unfortunately, the administration has given into the fear-mongering being used by environmentalists and has delayed the construction of the northern portion of the pipeline running from Canada to Cushing, Okla. This pipeline is safe and would create needed construction jobs. Regardless of whether the pipeline is built, Canada will continue producing oil. If we do not import that oil to the United States, Canada will find another buyer—likely China.
Additionally, America is not fully utilizing our domestic natural gas resources. Recent developments in hydraulic fracturing—a technology safely used in Oklahoma for over six decades—had dramatically increased the amount of recoverable natural gas. We have enough natural gas to power our economy for over a century. Oklahoma is at the forefront of natural gas utilization, with the rapid expansion of CNG fueling stations, which will spur the purchase of CNG powered cars. Every tank of CNG represents money put back in the U.S. economy instead of being used to buy oil from OPEC nations such as Venezuela, Nigeria and Libya.
Additionally, America has coal reserves that can power our electric grid with domestically produced energy for generations, and with new technology coal is now cleaner than ever. Energy independence for North America is the key to growing the economy internally, creating jobs and bolstering national security.