Elizabeth Warren has a lot of bad ideas, but her anti-drilling plan might be the worst

Washington Examiner | Mark J. Perry | April 22, 2019

The United States needs more oil and natural gas production on federal land and in coastal waters.

Consider the enormous demand for energy. The Energy Information Administration expects demand will increase 6.3% through 2050. Wind and solar energy are projected to meet an increasing share of energy demand, but hydrocarbons are still expected to provide 79% of America’s energy needs in 2050.

The argument for oil and gas production, however, is not just about meeting the increasing need for energy. It has been an engine for job creation and economic growth, and it has improved the lives of millions of people.

But the politics of energy production are driven, to this day, by the proposition that fossil fuels pollute the environment and depress the use of renewables competing with oil and gas. It is a myopic view, reflected in the keep-it-in-the-ground movement that wants to shut down oil and gas production.

It underpins presidential aspirant Elizabeth Warren’s threat to ban all fossil fuel extraction on federal lands and in coastal waters. She pledged recently that if elected she would sign an executive order on her first day in office for a “total moratorium on all new fossil fuel leases.”

Warren, D-Mass., is misguided. Her proposition is an absurd idea that misses many things, including the fact that oil and gas production on federal lands and in offshore areas is essential to America’s economy and energy security. Those areas provide about one quarter of total U.S. oil production and make up 13% of natural gas production.

Read the full op-ed here.