WASHINGTON, D.C. – All Americans can agree that we need clean air and water, but the radical ‘anti-fossil fuels’ climate stance oversimplifies a complex issue while threatening the supply of energy for Americans, our allies around the globe, and developing economies. Contrary to the notion that fossil fuels are an insurmountable obstacle to progress, embracing American energy sources like liquified natural gas (LNG) will simultaneously lower harmful emissions, strengthen U.S. security and economic prowess, lift impoverished communities worldwide, and bolster democratic values.
We are not in an energy transition, but an energy expansion. In fact, world demand for energy is projected to increase 47% by 2050 over 2020 demand. Radical climate activists completely ignore this increase in energy needs and the critical importance of energy access to the economic development of a country.
The argument that wind and solar energy are the least expensive forms of new power generation conveniently ignores the reality that neither wind nor solar can provide a reliable base load for power generation. Additionally, neither of these renewable energy sources would exist without expensive, unreliable batteries produced with minerals mined using slave labor in China, and none of these batteries can produce energy for more than a few hours at a time.
In contrast, natural gas production has lowered both prices and emissions. In 2019, economists estimated that the shale revolution reduced the domestic price of natural gas by 63% and led to a 45% decrease in the wholesale price of electricity. This has saved U.S. consumers an estimated $203 billion annually, or $2,500 for a family of four. When it comes to emissions, methane emissions attributed to the oil and gas sector have dropped by 14%, and CO2 emissions from the US power sector declined by 28% — with the generation of power from natural gas accounting for more than half of said decline. According to the EPA, emissions declined by 31.9 million metric tons of CO2 from 1990 to 2017 with natural gas production increasing by 51% over the same time period.
Energy security is a critical component of national sovereignty and global stability. If the U.S. were to adopt the radical goals of the climate lobby, China and Russia would quickly eclipse the U.S. in geopolitical power — furthering their autocratic regimes rife with human rights abuses. Instead, by responsibly harnessing domestic natural gas reserves, the United States can reduce its reliance on energy imports from unstable regions. This strategic shift enhances our geopolitical leverage and economic resilience and serves as an example to nations aspiring to enhance their own sovereignty.
Finally, access to reliable and affordable energy is fundamental, and energy poverty is an issue that impacts millions of people worldwide. The solution to energy poverty? American-made energy. In fact, increased U.S. energy production made possible by the shale revolution has lifted over a billion people out of poverty since 1990. The introduction of natural gas has been transformative for communities by improving living conditions, driving economic growth, and empowering local populations. This inclusive approach aligns with environmental and humanitarian goals—underscoring the potential for fossil fuels to serve as a stepping stone toward a brighter future for all.
In the complex realm of climate change and energy availability, pragmatism—not panic—is paramount. The abandonment of fossil fuels will result in economic disarray, energy insecurity, and increased emissions. It will weaken the United States while strengthening China, Russia, and other autocratic regimes.
In contrast, the potential benefits of harnessing natural gas from the Permian Basin and other major producing regions in the U.S. are far-reaching, encompassing economic prosperity, environmental stewardship, and political empowerment. By strategically utilizing this resource, we have an unprecedented opportunity to lift the needy out of poverty, lower harmful emissions, and strengthen democracy all while bolstering the U.S. economy. It is imperative that we seize this moment to balance the needs of the present with the imperatives of the future—paving the way toward a prosperous and safe society.