At the Crossroads of Energy and Independence

July 7, 2016

Energy Independence

(Written by Nicholas Porta, veteran of US Coast Guard and volunteer chairmen of West Virginia Vets4Energy.)

The current moment in U.S. history sees our nation at a crossroads.

Look around the globe, and you see chaos. Threats to our society range from terrorism, nuclear proliferation, economic instability, and corruption. Our nation needs a revolution – not political, but something to power our future, like the industrial revolution did decades ago.

The revolution I speak of is an energy revolution.  If our nation takes advantage of the abundance of clean natural gas we have, we will become the global leader in meeting carbon reduction goals and ensure our status as the economic and military superpower of the world.  To achieve our goals, citizens must come together for the greater cause – to preserve our way of life, save our environment, and supercharge our economy - all of which can be realized by supporting U.S. energy independence.

As a nation, we must stand tall to achieve energy independence. One of the main barriers to U.S. energy independence is OPEC – a cartel of nations that have banded together for decades to dictate global petroleum prices.  Most of these OPEC nations have ill-intent towards the U.S, and many OPEC members, at least indirectly, support terrorist activity. 

Out of necessity, the U.S. has continued to purchase our petroleum from these unfriendly nations, when in fact, we may be filling our vehicles with the product that buys the bullets used to kill our service members overseas.

As a former U.S. Coast Guard officer, I may be more sensitive to the need for energy independence than others - but everyone has a patriotic duty to support our military and our nation. Our best support is energy independence.

How do we achieve energy independence, though, with environmental concerns about fossil fuels? In short, we must take a strategic approach to developing our power sources.  Every method is in play – not just oil and natural gas.  But we must continuously improve our energy development methods, and realize natural gas is the game changer for our environment, economy, and military.

The explosion in domestic natural gas resources, combined with low purchase costs, and the conversion of power plants to operate on natural gas enabled 2015 to become the first year emissions fell while the economy grew.

The need to stand together for energy independence is real.  Environmentalists preach against fossil fuels because they think it is best for our world to be free of them. But a commitment to stop the development of fossil fuels would NOT be in the best interests of the U.S. or the world.

Emerging nations will not stop developing fossil fuels simply because we do. And if they don’t stop, shouldn’t the U.S. be the nation developing cleaner fossil fuels like natural gas? We have the most stringent regulations in the world regarding energy development. In the petroleum industry alone, American Petroleum Institute guidelines are the gold standard for companies globally.

The Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Coast Guard, and the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement all oversee U.S. law over petroleum producers, as do various state regulators. 

The U.S. has the best technology to produce oil and gas cleaner, and more responsibly than elsewhere in the world.  Therefore, it’s also best for our environment that we produce fossil fuels – because the rest of the world does not do it as well.

Ultimately, the U.S. has three choices:

  • Save the environment with no regard for our economy or our military;
  • Disregard the environment and revive our economy and military; or
  • Dramatically improve our environment, supercharge our economy, and strengthen our world-class military through domestic energy. 

Common sense dictates we choose option three. In today’s world, wind does not power our warships, and tanks are too bulky to run on solar power; but through advancements in clean energies like natural gas – we can do it all.

We can heal our economy, save our environment, power our military, and put terrorists out of business, all by working with our God-given energy resources.  

The United States is a land of patriots who understand the best for our nation is yet to come – but we must act now.  Future generations depend on the actions we take today.

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