Reno Gazette-Journal | Sam Kumar | July 6, 2017
Last week, President Trump unveiled his energy policy declaring, “My administration will seek not only the American energy independence that we’ve been looking for so long, but American energy dominance.” Trump administration’s energy policy involves a complete review of U.S. nuclear energy policy; opening exports of American coal to coal powered plants around the world; infrastructure projects like Keystone XL, Dakota access, petroleum pipeline to Mexico; sale of natural gas to South Korea; and opening federal land for offshore oil and gas exploration. The president reaffirmed his administration’s commitment to a government that promotes energy development instead of obstructing it.
Contrast that with President Obama’s administration, which subsidized green energy to the tune of $40 billion a year. This does not include commitments to foreign countries like India, which received $4 billion for solar energy development. Never mind the windmills used to produce clean energy resulted in the deaths of dozens of bald eagles and golden eagles and countless other birds (Obama administration essentially waived penalties for up to 30 years for companies whose windmills killed or injured bald eagles).
Despite the Obama administration’s stiff regulations and moratoriums on drilling, the U.S. has increased oil and gas production by about 75% over the last decade, fueled mostly by technologies like fracking and horizontal drilling. In 2015, the Republican Congress ended a 1970s export ban and that has resulted in 150 million barrels of crude oil exports in 2 years. The net effect of these developments has resulted in oil dropping from over $100 a barrel just three years ago to around $45 today. America is now the biggest producer of natural gas in the world. For the first time since President Eisenhower called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home, America is on the verge of being a net exporter of natural gas. Coal production is up by 15% this year as the Interior Department has lifted a moratorium on new coal leases. All these economic activities will likely generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue for the federal government.
Read the full op-ed here.
Sam Kumar is the former chairman of the Washoe County Republican Party.