America Needs to Defend Its Energy Dominance

America Needs to Defend Its Energy Dominance

April 8, 2020

Since the 1940s, every president has talked about the need to gain energy independence. Only President Trump has been able to actually achieve it, and then some. Last September, the U.S. exported 140,000 more barrels of oil per day than it imported. That was the first full month in at least 70 years that we were a net exporter of crude oil. That is a level of “energy dominance”, as President Trump likes to put it, that America can return to, but only if we defend the industry that got us there.

The energy industry is in the middle of an exceptionally difficult situation. Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute, describes these unprecedented times in The Hill:

Reacting to a “triple whammy” of suppressed demand from the coronavirus-induced economic freeze, an oversupply of about 10 million barrels per day on the world market, and a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia, oil prices have plummeted from around $60 per barrel to less than $20 at times.

Once the global economy starts to recover from the coronavirus, the demand for energy will grow quickly. What’s important is that we take the proper steps during these challenging times so that America is prepared to meet that demand.

Saudi Arabia and Russia’s oil price war isn’t only hurting America – it’s hurting the entire global energy market, particularly when the coronavirus had already driven down the demand for energy. So, our energy dominance is not currently at risk because of the price war that’s hurting all parties involved, but because of the potential that we spend this time unwisely.

To ensure America is able to meet that growing demand we should use this downtime to improve the infrastructure for transporting and processing our oil and gas resources.

By improving our own system, reinvesting in pipeline infrastructure and revising outdated laws to improve efficiency, we will be in position to return to our “dominance” when the economy reopens. As Weinstein states:

Contrary to some popular commentary, the current coronavirus-related energy debacle does not signal the end of the fossil fuel era. The global economy will recover, as will the demand for oil and gas. That’s why it’s important to take steps today to retain America’s No. 1 position in the future.