I recently had the privilege of hearing Alaska Governor Mike Dunleavy speak about American energy from his state’s perspective. He confirmed what I have believed for a long time, the greatest threat to American energy dominance isn’t a lack of innovation, technology, or markets, it is public opinion and the resulting draconian political policies of the far-left.
Climate change is the flavor of the week for progressives. It seems every presidential candidate has their own version of the Green New Deal, each expected to cost American taxpayers trillions of dollars, in addition to increasing our cost of living, while lowering our quality of life.
As this dangerous rhetoric has become mainstream in the Western world, people have become increasingly scared, especially the youth. The Federalist observed that Greta Thunberg “like millions of other indoctrinated kids her age, act as if they live in a uniquely broken world on the precipice of disaster. This is a tragedy. ‘Blunt-force fear’ is indeed the correct way to describe the concerted misinformation that Thunberg has likely been subjected to since nursery school.”
Everyday of the week, we are so inundated with negative news that we start to assume that the world is in the worst shape it has ever been. But the truth is, we are living in the greatest era of opportunity for mankind we have ever encountered.
Just look at poverty levels: “In 1990, more than a third of people in the world lived in extreme poverty – living on $1.90 a day or lless. In 2015, the most recent year with robust data, extreme poverty reached 10 percent, the lowest level in recorded history. Over the last three decades, more than one billion people lifted themselves out of extreme poverty, and about half of the world’s countries have reduced extreme poverty to below 3 percent.” (Source: The World Bank)
Contrary to the arguments of climate catastrophists, our environmental outlook is bright as well. According to the Association of Air Pollution Control Agencies, the six major pollutants monitored by the EPA plunged by 73 percent, while the U.S. economy grew 262 percent and its population by 60 percent between 1970 and 2017. Twenty-five years ago, one in three people worldwide did not have access to clean water, today that number has been lowered to one in twenty-five (Source: National Geographic).
Because of the recent uptick in oil and gas production in Texas, we have reached a level of energy independence and national security our nation hasn’t seen in decades. Just look at what Dallas Morning News had to say after the recent attack on Saudi Arabia’s oil: “But there is no energy crisis, at least not today. No need for the U.S. military to secure oil in the Middle East for American consumption, no immediate need to tap emergency U.S. oil reserves, certainly no need to top off your gas tank today and hoard fuel in your garage. That’s because the world, and especially the U.S., has plenty of oil. The dream of cutting our dependency on foreign oil is reality, and we don’t have to protect our economic interests in the Middle East the way we once did. Thanks to west Texas, we have more room to maneuver at home and abroad.”
We cannot allow the prevalence of negative news to create the opportunity for fear mongering politicians to put in place policies that harm the American people. As Ronald Reagan once said: “We’ve made much progress already. So, let us go forth with good cheer and stout hearts – happy warriors out to seize back a country and a world to freedom.”
The truth is on our side. We just need the courage to speak up and have an open dialogue with our friends and neighbors, even those who disagree with us politically, and we can solve the most vexing problems of our day in a way that would make our founding fathers proud.
Chairman, Texas Railroad Commission