As you’re driving down the street, it’s hard to overlook the signs at the gas station featuring prices that are lighting up like a Las Vegas slot machine on a good night. It’s no secret that California is home to some of the highest gas prices in the nation with a state average around $5.72, hovering well above the national average.
While some may argue that gas prices in California have always been relatively high, the reality is we didn’t wind up in this situation by mistake. Over the past two years, federal officials in Washington have taken deliberate and calculated moves to cripple our once-thriving American energy industry.
From the political slow playing of new oil and gas leasing on federal land to revoking the key permits for major energy projects like the Keystone XL Pipeline, a project that was going to be powered by renewable energy and have net-zero emissions across its operations, decisions like these have led us to where we are today.
Couple these types of choices with the ongoing war in Ukraine, it can spell real trouble for not only the American energy market, but the international market and particularly that of our European allies as well.
For decades, our international energy trade was dominated by the likes of unfriendly regimes in Russia, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia, causing the US and our allies to rely on foreign foes to provide us with the necessary resources to keep our world and economy moving. But we have the opportunity to change that by investing further in American energy development.
The impacts of high energy prices won’t only be pain at the pump. Soon it has the potential to increase the cost of almost all consumer goods. We can rewrite this narrative and it starts by working alongside our American energy industry to restart the responsible, sustainable, and safe operations needed to access the vast reserves of oil and natural gas that lie right below our feet.
A crucial first step in this is opening the sale of oil and gas leases on federal land.
While Biden Administration officials like to stand at the podium and argue that there are 9,000 outstanding leases available – a misguided figure they repeatedly state – they’re neglecting the fact that these leases only represent a small fraction of the 37,496 leases that are actively being used. Furthermore, they continue to act as a roadblock in the issuing of new federal leases: 4,621 applications are currently being held up by bureaucratic red tape with another 2,200 of them being litigated in court.
You may ask yourself, why is this important? The reason is that not all leases yield oil or natural gas and they do expire. Having a stockpile of new leases allows for the continuous production of oil and gas – something that is more critical today than ever before.
When the American energy industry is thriving, not only is our world a safer place, but it is cleaner as well. The United States energy industry operates under some of the most environmentally responsible standards anywhere in the world. Couple these high standards with cutting edge advancements in technologies and the industry has been able to drive down the emissions related to natural gas and oil production by 60%.
Demand for oil and natural gas isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. If we want to help alleviate the financial strain caused by high energy prices and make America energy independent, we need to provide our energy companies with access to the resources needed to do so.
The Long Beach Area Republicans