This article by TAB CEO Glenn Hamer was originally published by the Midland Reporter-Telegram, February 26, 2022. In the name of climate change, Europe sought to eliminate its reliance on natural gas. As a result, energy prices throughout the continent skyrocketed, hammering consumers and leaving leaders scrambling to lower prices. That is why, in 2021, the European Union, in a win for common-sense, classified natural gas as “green investments.” This opened the floodgates for Texas producers and is leading to a boom in liquified natural gas (LNG) exportation to our allies.
As Texas Monthly recently pointed out, through the exportation of LNG, the Lone Star State is currently saving the Europeans from being solely reliant on Russia for their energy needs. However, Russia currently supplies about 40 percent of European gas imports and is rapidly building pipelines in order make the world more dependent on their energy resources. The world just watched as Russia invaded Ukraine with more than 150,000 troops at the ready. While the international crisis unfolds and gas increases right before every American’s eyes, some of President Biden’s appointees are working overtime to make it harder for our allies to power their continent. A recent rule passed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) will require greenhouse gas emissions to be included in its analysis of natural gas pipelines and export terminals seeking approval. Not only will this lead to a reduction in new LNG pipelines that our allies will need, but it will also slow the Lone Star State’s economic growth and hamper our ability to bring energy costs down. The United States has moved toward a stronger, more independent energy system thanks to policies adopted in a bipartisan fashion over the past decade to make us more globally competitive, such as allowing for the export of oil and gas (occurred during the Obama administration). However, from day one President Biden has worked to reverse that progress by such actions as cancelling the Keystone Pipeline and proposing a rule to prohibit new oil and gas leases on federal lands. All the while it supported the Russian Nord Stream Two pipeline to provide more gas to our allies (a policy since reversed) while begging OPEC to pump more oil as US gas prices surged. Instead of pleading with OPEC to increase oil and other counties to provide more natural gas to our allies President Biden should reverse course and make it clear that US produced natural gas and oil are a national security necessity. He should work with our nation’s producers to increase production and speed up the approval process of our wells and pipelines. It is past time for Washington to wake up and let our energy producers and entrepreneurs do what they do best. As US Sen. John Cornyn recently tweeted. "Texas and other US producing states can help, if the Biden administration will get out of the way.” It was the inventors of fracking and our oil and gas pioneers that led America to become energy independent -- as well a reduction in emissions as coal was replaced with natural gas. If our federal leaders worked with them, as opposed to against them, we could wean our allies off the energy resources of our adversaries and strengthen the U.S. and Texas economies. Now, that's a win-win.