Kevin Brady Sep 23, 2019
Houston is the energy capital of the world, and hundreds of thousands in the area are employed by the oil and gas industry. In the state of Texas alone, the industry employs 1.9 million people – over 12 percent of the state’s total workforce.
Across the nation, the oil and gas industry is booming, with US crude oil production up 40 percent in just the last three years. We are experiencing an energy renaissance, and never before has the U.S. been so poised to take on the role of global energy leader.
As we continue to expand our role as energy exporter, we also recognize the need for clean energy, and the importance of ensuring valid, sustainable sources that support our ever-growing nation. It’s no surprise that Texas is leading the way in this endeavor, with market-based solutions that benefit both American consumers and our country. Consider my hometown of The Woodlands, which was founded by legendary Texan and energy pioneer George P. Mitchell. Mitchell is perhaps best known for commercializing the process of hydraulic fracking, a process that not only increases our energy production, but also reduces carbon pollution by allowing for clean, abundant natural gas to be widely utilized.
And Mitchell’s not the only one – Texas companies continue to be at the forefront of energy innovation and change. But, while our local companies are dedicating time and resources to improving and expanding our energy capabilities, some of my colleagues in Congress are doing all they can to stop our growth in its tracks.
Recently, the House of Representatives voted on three Democrat bills that are, at their core, anti-American energy. These bills, which seek to curtail offshore drilling activities, pose a direct threat to American energy independence – and thus our national security, environmental progress, and economic strength.
If we curtail our energy production, it will mean a return to the days in which we were dependent on foreign nations for power. This is a dangerous game to play – especially when considering some imports come from hostile foreign states whose environmental and humanitarian standards are unacceptable. Our nation is far more secure when we can produce and rely upon our own energy sources.
Banning offshore drilling also hinders the continuation of environmental efforts that have flourished under the Trump Administration. Oil and gas production can bring in billions of dollars in state and local revenue, a portion of which is traditionally used to support conservation efforts and coastal resiliency projects. Taking energy revenue away from states prevents them from investing in key flood mitigation projects and protecting their own local ecosystems.
And perhaps most obviously, curtailing American energy expansion is a surefire way to stymie the incredible economic growth we’ve experienced over the past few years. With billions of dollars – and millions of jobs – at risk, why would we gamble with the success of our nation’s energy industry?
While Democrats continue to push harmful, top-down environmental policies that are both ineffective and hurt consumers, Republicans will keep championing ideas that spur American innovation to make clean energy more affordable for American families.
Kevin Brady is a United States Congressman, representing Texas’ 8th Congressional District. https://www.itemonline.com/opinion/let-s-keep-the-energy-momentum-going/article_8ec56d5c-fac4-5a81-bede-247e18713ddb.html