Everyone across Texas is feeling the punch of record inflation and sky-high energy prices, and there’s no end in sight. While pandemic disruptions have played a role, actions taken in Washington since the start of 2021 have helped escalate the problem. And their restless remedies do next to nothing to ease our pain.
What we continue to see from Washington could actually mess with our economy and perpetuate what is considered America’s biggest energy mistake. Their scattered approach to reducing energy prices offers few tangible solutions. It ignores the obvious solution to support home energy production.
Oil is the main cost factor in the price of gasoline and diesel. The White House’s adversarial approach to our traditional energy sources upon taking office stifled energy development and production. This triggered pump prices to rise more than $1.10 a gallon between Inauguration Day and this January. This triggered the higher price trajectory which increased further when Russia attacked Ukraine.
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The president and other political leaders offer a variety of policy responses. But they ignore the obvious solution: Free America’s oil and gas industry and make our country energy independent — and safer.
Texas and our nation need all the energy we can muster to bring prices down right now. Ultimately, this will mean more renewables like wind and solar, and, yes, more oil and gas which will remain the world’s main source of energy in 2050, even as renewables grow in importance. .
Americans of all parties favor this future. According to the Pew Research Center, two-thirds support moving to carbon neutrality by 2050, while nearly the same percentage believe we should use both traditional and renewable energy – and certainly not ban fossil fuels. Fortunately, the administration is restarting federal oil and gas leasing again. It must also accelerate the issuance of permits and the construction of new traditional energy infrastructure.
Why do elected officials echo some anti-energy activists in favor of eliminating traditional fuels? Why do they never cite America’s global success in reducing emissions while producing energy at record highs? Likewise, why are they ignoring technological innovations like carbon capture and storage that will get us to net zero faster than anyone imagined?
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Urging the disappearance of the most readily available, reliable and affordable energy to power our world demonizes a central part of our economic engine. It’s undermining our economy, destroying jobs, and hurting Texans who can’t afford to pay more for energy.
Here in the Lone Star State, gasoline prices at the pump averaged $4.11 a gallon on May 13, up $1.36 a gallon from the average of $2.75 a gallon. gallon of the previous year. Besides drivers, farmers pay about 80% more for fertilizer, which could lead to higher grocery prices. In Orange, Texas, Farmer’s Mercantile, which has been supplying farmers with every supply they might need since 1928, reports that prices for virtually everything have risen, but especially fertilizer. Its cheapest fertilizer soared to $19.95 a bag from $8 in a year.
In 2022, why should we accept policy proposals that create more price volatility and less reliable, affordable and even more environmentally harmful energy? Voters need to understand that we can achieve our environmental goals with clean natural gas and oil, and that attempts to eliminate traditional energy are actually harming our environment.
Texans and Americans support a sensible middle path that can bring energy prices down and lead us to a carbon-neutral future without sacrificing our environmental goals. Please beware, President Biden. There is no time to waste on failed energy ideas supported by few and loved by no one.
Kaitlin Schmidtke is the Gulf Coast Executive Director for Consumer Energy Alliance.