- - Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Texas is the energy capital of the world, and we’re proud of that. Ever since Spindletop blew just outside Beaumont in 1901, Texas has been the centerpiece of the U.S. energy sector. Whether it’s oil, natural gas, chemical products, or the pipelines that carry them, we have been supplying the world with the energy they need to fuel their cars, power their homes, and produce the products we all rely upon each and every day.

More than one million Texans work in the energy sector in everything from exploration and production, to delivery of the energy that powers our modern world. They have helped make Texas into an economic juggernaut, the ninth largest economy in the world, and the number one state for business every year that I have been Governor. Their importance to the Texas economy, and to the American economy, cannot be overstated. They are the lifeblood of our state, and their hard work and dedication have made America into the superpower we are today.

With the turmoil we see in Europe and the rising prices here at home, the Texas energy industry has never been more important.

The White House may be trying to blame rising gas prices on the so-called “Putin Price Hike,” but the truth is, energy prices began rising long before Russia invaded Ukraine. They began rising just after President Biden took office. The American energy industry knows that this White House is beholden to the extreme left wing of their party, and their controversial “Green New Deal” proposal. No plan is more hostile to America’s energy independence, to our future economic success than the “Green New Deal.”

Advocates of the “Green New Deal” would destroy hundreds of thousands of jobs in Texas alone, wiping out high-paying positions that feed and house Texas families, and contribute to our state’s booming economy. Just a few short years ago, a robust American energy industry made the United States truly energy independent, but President Biden and Democrats like Beto O’Rourke would rather give in to the extreme left wing of their party than allow America to power the world.

Europe has shown us what happens when you rely too much upon renewable energy and insist on getting your oil and natural gas from corrupt despots like Vladimir Putin. Texas is the number one state for wind energy, and is about to be number one for solar as well, but we also are proud to utilize all the oil and natural gas resources that our state has to offer as part of an “all of the above” energy policy. However, Democrats want to leave fossil fuels behind, and rely on foreign powers for that supply.

To appear like they are doing something, anything to help Americans deal with skyrocketing inflation, including high energy costs, the Biden administration has embraced feeble gimmicks that will do little to relieve the pressure Americans feel in their pocketbooks. Releasing a paltry amount of oil from our reserves won’t drive down costs in any meaningful way, and neither will increasing the amount of ethanol that we put into our gasoline.

To provide Americans and our allies in Europe with affordable, reliable energy, all Washington needs to do is unleash the American energy industry once more. Increase LNG exports so our energy companies can make up for what Europe lost from Russia. Approve permits stuck in the bureaucratic quagmire of Washington, D.C., so new drilling, exploration, and pipelines can refuel the world with cleaner, freer, American made energy. Restart the Keystone XL pipeline, so our allies in Canada can provide safe, reliable energy sources to refineries here in the United States. These simple steps will actually bring down gas prices, re-energize our economy, and relieve the strain Americans feel every time they look at their rapidly shrinking bank account.

It’s time for Washington to choose Midland over Moscow.

• Greg Abbott is the 48th Governor of the State of Texas. Before his election in 2014, Greg Abbott was the 50th and longest-serving Attorney General of Texas, where he earned a national reputation for defending religious liberty and protecting Texas communities and children. He also previously served as a Justice on the Texas Supreme Court and as a State District Judge in Harris County.

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