Russia’s invasion of Ukraine reminds the world of the critical role of American energy in global stability. The invasion also underscores the strategic value of American energy production in supporting both our national security and the security of our allies.
As the world’s largest producer of oil and natural gas — and now the top exporter of LNG late last year — American energy workers have been hard at work earning our country’s status as an energy superpower.
As recently as the early 2000s, it was common to hear claims that we were “run out of oil.” America’s largest oil field, the Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico, was considered to be in decline. US oil production sharp in 1970 and steadily declined for 40 years.
Then almost overnight, hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling technologies ushered in the American shale revolution, with annual crude oil production in the United States. more than doubled, rising from just over 2 billion barrels to almost 4.5 billion barrels. We have succeeded in reducing the American trade deficit and we significantly reduces our dependence on foreign oilapproximately 70% of the crude oil processed in our Gulf Coast refineries now comes from America.
In support of our industry’s work to free up our vast natural resources to meet demand here in America and growing demand overseas, a bipartisan bill was passed. lifted the US embargo on crude oil exports in 2015. The export ban, enacted in 1975 during the Arab oil embargo and a time of scarcity, had become a relic of a world that no longer existed. Now the United States could meet domestic needs while providing its allies and trading partners with a reliable and secure source of energy. Since the lifting of the ban, the United States has gone from a minor league player to a top contender in the major league, becoming fourth largest exporter of crude oil in the world.
There is no better example of American innovation causing a transformation of economic markets and geopolitical power.
Just as importantly, as the United States has become a leader in providing reliable, low-cost energy, we have also become the world leader in reducing greenhouse gas emissions as our energy is produced according to the strictest regulations in the world. According to the EPA, from 2005 to 2018, total US energy-related CO2 emissions fell by 12%. In contrast, global energy-related emissions increased by almost 24% between 2005 and 2008. Methane emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems have fallen 23% since 1990, according to the 2020 Edition of the EPA’s United States Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks Inventory.
The Obama administration has recognized the importance of America’s energy leadership in its National Security Strategy 2015, stating that “America’s energy stimulus is not only good for growth, it also offers new buffers against the coercive use of energy” by other nations. They also observed that “the challenges facing Ukrainian and European dependence on Russian energy supplies highlight the need for a broader vision of energy security that recognizes the collective needs of the United States, our allies and trading partners, and the importance of competitive energy markets.
With Russian tanks on the outskirts of kyiv, the case for American power has only grown stronger. Now is the time for the Biden administration to clearly and unequivocally signal its support for U.S. oil and natural gas.
The fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is driving up energy prices in Europe and around the world and providing an opportunity for President BidenJoe BidenEx-Trump’s personal assistant appears before Jan. 6 panel Defense and National Security – Russia Sends Warnings to the West On the Money – Feds Propose New Disclosure Rule for Public Companies MORE enact a long overdue policy shift to harness more of American energy as a stabilizing force in geopolitics.
The Russian economy is heavily dependent on energy exports, meaning any attempt to isolate Russia from the rest of the world will require additional crude supplies to fill the void. The president should signal to the world that American oil and natural gas are critical to countering aggression from malign actors like Russia, and that energy exports are a key part of our strategy.
It is important to our allies abroad that we maintain our strong record of stable and reliable energy exports. But words about protecting global energy markets and ensuring adequate supplies will ring hollow if our own production is reduced at home. So while the first step is administrative support, it must be followed by significant policy action to restart regular leasing on federal lands and waters.
The United States must also invest in its energy infrastructure. The administration must ask FERC to reverse its new pipeline licensing policy that will significantly hamper the ability to build the energy infrastructure needed to access US resources and make energy more expensive for American families.
The men and women who produce America’s oil and natural gas are committed to supporting their local economies and communities and work hard every day to help advance our nation’s security interests. With the support of this administration, together we can firmly establish the United States as a stable supplier of energy to Europe and our allies around the world for decades to come.
Anne Bradbury is CEO of American Exploration and Production Council (AXPC), whose members are made up of the largest independent US oil and natural gas exploration and production companies. Previously, she served as one of Congress’ top legislative strategists and technicians as floor manager to two successive Speakers of the House and deputy floor manager in the offices of the Majority and Minority Leader. She was also a partner in the Duberstein group.