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Robin Smith / Feb. 3, 2020

Energy Policy That Wins

How the Trump administration’s policies have unleashed American energy production.

Every president since Richard Nixon has promised energy independence to Americans as a measure of national security. Promises and pledges have come and gone from the White House since the 1970s — but now, the United States of America is an exporter of crude oil as well as natural gas and, yes, Americans can be declared energy independent.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (USEIA), “In November 2019, the United States became a net exporter of all oil products, including both refined petroleum products and crude oil.”

For the very reasons eight presidents prior to Donald Trump promised this energy autonomy, it’s now evidenced with the stability of oil prices that no longer wildly fluctuate with every world event.

Middle East policy has become more shaped by those drilling in Pennsylvania, North Dakota, and Texas. Yet leftists still declare, “We just can’t drill our way out of the problem.” Well, that’s exactly what happened.

Despite, not because of, the policies of the Obama administration, exploration, drilling, and fracking for natural gas and oil expanded with no appearance of turning back as the Trump administration approved last week the Keystone Pipeline right of way for a crucial 46-mile stretch controlled by the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Keystone was first proposed in 2008, but faced repeated rejections during the Obama years. This approval permits the $8 billion construction project expected to move up to 35 million gallons of crude oil every day from western Canada to terminals on the U.S. Gulf Coast.

What does this mean to average Americans?

According to economist Stephen Moore, “At least $1 trillion of U.S. economic output is related to the shale revolution,” with more than 1.5 million Americans working in the industry. A separate study by the American Petroleum Institute cites at least four million jobs connected to the shale oil and gas energy transformation that include work in construction, engineering, pipe fitting, steel production, trucking, and sales jobs.

Specifically, Michigan and Ohio together have more than 400,000 workers tied to the shale industry, with Pennsylvania home to an additional 320,000 alone. Colorado and Florida each have more than 200,000 oil and gas workers. It’s obvious that these states hold not only precious natural resources but critical voters that serve as the fuel for the engine of 2020 politics.

While these states are the heart of the shale industry, Texas has more than two million employees of gas and oil companies. Add to that the coal workers who showed up in 2016 from Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio supporting Trump. He embraces an all-of-the-above approach to energy that includes fossil fuels, nuclear, solar, and renewables, but without the subsidies propping up the green industry.

It’s obvious that fossil fuels and nuclear energy are not welcomed in the Democrat Party, as evidenced by the lineup of presidential candidates whose policies would stall the American economic engine, killing millions of jobs while massively increasing prices.

As Salena Zito and Brad Todd wrote in their book, The Great Revolt: Inside the Populist Coalition Reshaping American Politics, those who are red-blooded and blue-collared are now the GOP — yes, it’s a Growing Opportunity Party. As the elections inch closer, expect effective reminders that Democrats view those who cling to their God and guns as “deplorable,” as well as disdain all who see the value in America being first in energy exploration and production. That might be called #Winning for conservatives.

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