I agree but there’s more we can do

“Lower your costs, not your wages. Make more cars and semiconductors in America. More infrastructure and innovation in America. More goods moving faster and cheaper in America. More jobs where you can earn a good living in America. And, instead of relying on foreign supply chains – let’s make it in America.”
— President Joe Biden, State of the Union Address

By Stephan Drew

I listened to President Biden’s first State of the Union address last week and, I have to say, I agree with him on some of the things he said.
He spoke about increasing wages, lowering the cost of the products we buy, bringing more industry (and jobs) back to America, and relying less on foreign imports in order to strengthen our economy.
He also talked about how we need to secure our border and increase funding for law enforcement. These are things with which I totally concur. Our past president also agreed and heartily endorsed these same ideas. “America First” was his motto and he promoted it everywhere he went.
For this, he was booed, screamed at and called horrible names, including “racist”, “Fascist” and “Nazi” by the party in power at the present time. Now, our current president is embracing these same themes and is applauded and called a “visionary.”
A lot of people are acting like this is a bold “new” strategy. So, as you can understand, I’m a bit confused. Maybe it was our past president’s arrogant and boisterous manner and the somewhat coarse way that he spoke. Maybe it was because he was from a different political party. Maybe people just didn’t like the color of his spray tan. I’m not sure.
But if it was so wrong to advocate this dogma just a few years ago, why is it right to recommend it now? Could it be that the party in power is slipping in the polls and needs to adopt some moderate policies to increase their popularity? Could it be that they were backed into a corner by current military events and were pressured to do something to placate the people? Or, could it be that they just need the votes? As we all know, there is an election coming up this fall.
Or maybe they’ve come to their senses and realized that the majority of our people don’t want to be dependent on foreign governments (many of which hate us) for the goods we use every day? And, if they are “turning over a new leaf” by investing more in American manufacturing, could we extend that to American oil production as well?
We import 670,000 barrels of oil from Russia per day. At $115 per barrel, that comes to $77,050,000 per day or $28,123,500,000 per year. The Keystone XL pipeline, which was shut down by our current president, provided the U.S. with 830,000 barrels of oil per day. If it were reopened, that would more than make up for the loss of oil from the Russians.
We would also have an extra 160,000 barrels per day to sell to other countries. That is $18,400,000 per day or $6,716,000,00 per year, just by opening ONE pipeline. We could also further increase our own production of petroleum. But Pres. Biden stopped short of endorsing more American drilling. I wonder why?
If we’re going to increase our profitability and independence from foreign imports, why not go all the way? I believe we were on the right track to total energy autonomy with the past administration. When all of that was reversed by our current president, and, with the damage caused by the pandemic, our current problems began to grow.
It doesn’t take an Ivy League intellectual with a list of degrees to figure that out. A child would understand it quite simply. Before Jan. 20, 2021, we were energy independent. Just a short while ago, we were producing and supplying oil, not only for ourselves but also exporting some of it to the world. All of that changed drastically and, now, we are reliant on foreign nations for the majority of our fuel supply.
Petroleum geologists estimate that we have enough oil, under our control, to last approximately 125-150 years. That’s a lot of oil. And, if used properly, it could last even longer. However, we also know that there is strong evidence that much of our climate change is caused by the burning of these fossil fuels. We cannot stop other countries from polluting the atmosphere and, transforming from fossil fuel-burning to “green” energy on a global scale will take time.
We are not at the point where we can detach ourselves completely from the oil industry. Electric cars are improving but we are not in a position to have only electric automobiles on our highways. They don’t hold a charge longer than 10-12 hours, and the extremely expensive batteries last only 2-3 years.
More charging stations would help but it takes 6-8 hours to recharge one properly. Most people don’t have that kind of time to wait before they continue their drive. You can “rapid charge” the battery but, that degrades the battery a great deal faster than a slow charge. So, for the present time, we are stuck with using oil to a significant degree.
Why not make sure the oil we use is ours, cheap and easily accessible? And, if we do have over 100 years of petroleum supply, we should wholeheartedly bend our efforts to finding another (cheap and local) source of energy to power us in the future.
In the meantime, we should take advantage of our own resources, making sure we keep them affordable until we find the perfect solution. However, we should never forget that the oil will run out and we must find a feasible replacement, as soon as possible.
It is imperative that we do so if we wish to remain a superpower. We are at a critical moment in history. We could replace Russia and the Middle East as a major oil producer on the world stage. We could use the money and also benefit from the energy independence. But we must not be wasteful.
It won’t last forever and we should concentrate all our efforts on supplanting it. There will be those who disagree. They will complain how the oil billionaires will make more money that they don’t need. We could increase taxes on oil profits, using that money to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and help our own people who are badly suffering. Or, we could use the profits to fund renewable energy sources. If the oil companies did this, then they would own a major interest in “green” technology. This would make it more attractive to them because, as they phase out oil, they wouldn’t lose so much money transferring to safer energy sources in which they also have an interest.
When an American company makes more money, they pay more taxes, which benefits our nation. When we pay a foreign country for our fuel, none of that money comes back home. I would much rather see Americans (including billionaires) benefitting rather than have those who don’t hold our best interests at heart pointing a gun at our heads.
I do hope we open up more oil production in this country. If for no other reason than getting gas below $2 a gallon again. I agreed with some of the things Pres. Biden said last week. But he needed to go just a bit farther.
Yes, bring back American manufacturing, secure the border and fund the police. But also open up the pipelines, drill and produce our own oil, and sell some to the world to help pay off our enormous debt or fund new “green” energy without such a burden on the taxpayers. A smart person would understand that. Let’s just hope those in power are as smart and capable as we hope they are.

Author: Stephan Drew

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