America’s energy demands can be separated into three distinct elements: reliable supply, reasonable prices, and an aggressive climate change strategy.
Given the turmoil in Ukraine and the fickle nature of the world’s other major oil producers, such as those in the Middle East, there is only one realistic way to balance these three requirements: a strategy ” all-inclusive” that replaces dirty energy imports with domestic energy imports and allied production on the path to a carbon-free energy future.
This is not an opinion or an aspiration, it is a fact. The only question now is whether Washington will accept the truth and act to pave the way, or otherwise prevent the free world from seizing the future.
Already, our leaders’ propensity to fight rather than fix threatens to get in the way. Some right-wing cable hosts have suggested that the United States let Russia crush our allies in Ukraine, an outcome that would surely mitigate any disruption in global energy markets. But an American failure to stand up to Putin would be morally repugnant.
Others, mostly on the left, seek to take advantage of high prices to wean the world off oil, even when there is no feasible way to switch to emission-free energy sources overnight.
The only reasonable solution here is to replace dirty foreign sources of oil and gas with much cleaner sources from our close allies and within our own borders, and simultaneously increase solar and wind power in the months and years to come.
The good news is that we are able to do both. America has the resources, the know-how, and the technology both to free the democratic world from its dependence on unreliable partners and to steer us toward a carbon-neutral future.
And if we did these things, we would avoid having to replace Russian energy resources with oil and gas from other autocracies like Venezuela and Iran. Buying Venezuelan oil would support the country’s dictatorial president, Nicolas Maduro.
And, of course, the United States could only buy Iranian oil if we lifted the embargo imposed to discourage Tehran from subsidizing global terrorism and pursuing nuclear weapons. In other words, Washington should make a diabolical deal that could empower the ayatollahs.
So how do we weigh these competing priorities? It starts with ensuring that the White House cannot make these decisions unilaterally – Congress, with its diversity of voices and perspectives, must play a leading role. It is already happening.
Initially, the Biden administration was so preoccupied with gas prices that it was reluctant to take a strong stance against Russian energy exports. But the senses. Lisa Murkowski, R-Arkansas, and Joe Manchin, DW.V., and John Hickenlooper and Michael Bennet, of Colorado, worked with the bipartisan House Problem Solvers Caucus to draft legislation restricting imports into the United States. The White House then acquiesced.
Second, we must be wary of letting one autocratic dictator pressure us into becoming closer to another. The White House appears to be working to resuscitate the deeply flawed deal the Obama administration made with Tehran to end economic sanctions in exchange for anything less than a complete dismantling of their nuclear and terror-supporting regimes. . Although America may desire more energy, the White House should not commit us to a deal that would undermine our national security.
Fortunately, once again, Congress is about to intervene. A bipartisan coalition led by Reps. Josh Gottheimer, ?DN.J., and Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., is mobilizing to ensure the federal government negotiates tough with Iran. .
Finally, and just as importantly, America must continue to invest in building “green” energy alternatives, from wind to solar to nuclear power generation. But because we cannot achieve a carbon-free reality overnight, we must also increase the production and refining of domestic oil and gas.
Critics bristle at the idea of exploiting new oil and gas resources at a time when many want to steer the economy towards new sources of energy, but the truth is that America’s hydrocarbons are produced in a way that promises to be far less destructive to the planet. than in competing facilities elsewhere in the world.
America can be strong abroad and safe at home, but to get there, we need balance and wisdom. It will force congressional leaders on both sides of the aisle to negotiate and compromise in good faith.
Fortunately, a growing group of true problem solvers are emerging on Capitol Hill to do just that. For all the whirlwind of competing interests dominating debates about energy markets, national security, climate, and the future, there is really little debate about the right path forward.
The question is whether Washington is able to take the first steps in the right direction.
— Roger Hutson is Co-Chair of No Labels Colorado, Board Member of Colorado Concern and CEO of HRM Resources III, LLC