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Protecting U.S. Energy Industry, American Workers

Marietta , April 22, 2020
Tags: Energy

Protecting U.S. Energy Industry, American Workers
Wheeling Intelligencer 
Published on April 22, 2020

The hardworking men and women in America’s energy industry not only power our homes and fuel our cars and trucks across Ohio and the nation — they also play a powerful role in maintaining America’s leadership on the world stage. As the COVID-19 pandemic depresses economies around the world and inflicts damage here at home, the price of oil has dropped to historic lows.

While this may sound good for gasoline prices at the pump, it has begun to harm American jobs and threaten our position as the world’s leading oil producer. Making matters worse, Saudi Arabia and Russia are flooding the market with cheap oil, not only to manipulate the global oil market but also to seize market share from the United States. Russia and the Saudis want to put American energy producers, and the millions of men and women who work for them, out of business..

Ensuring a thriving American energy sector during this pandemic response is more important than ever. Fortunately, Congressional Republicans and the Trump Administration are hard at work fighting for our energy workers.

These American workers have helped bring about America’s energy renaissance, making the United States the world’s leading oil producer, a force for energy diplomacy, a global trailblazer in clean energy, and a world leader in lowering carbon emissions. Men and women working in the Marcellus and Utica shale fields, in the coal mines of Ohio, and in nuclear power plants across the country are providing for their families each day, while also serving to protect our national security — from right here in our backyards.

In today’s interconnected world, American energy independence is essential for maintaining our national security and global leadership on the world stage.

The choice is clear: we can either lead, or be led by our adversaries. I choose to lead, along with President Trump and Republicans in Congress — for Ohioans and for all Americans.

We have all seen how Saudi Arabia and Russia’s recent efforts to manipulate our global oil markets impacted America’s energy sector. Their price war is happening half a world away, but their flooding of cheap oil into the global market quickly impacted our small and mid-size shale producers here at home, causing companies to lower production and cut costs — and, that means American jobs are at risk. A tentative truce just took effect, but it doesn’t change the fact that we must remain in the driver’s seat and ensure America can continue to supply and consume its own energy while demand is low.

And, we must keep energy operations running and Americans safe during the coronavirus outbreak.

One way to keep our operations running is for the federal government to buy oil now from domestic producers, when it’s selling at historic lows, in order to top off our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), the largest stockpile of oil in the world. This is common sense. The president supported this, the Senate majority supported this, as did House Republicans. But Speaker Pelosi blocked it, saying she would only allow it if her Green New Deal policies were approved.

This fight is far from over, and as these discussions continue, we must remember to remain vigilant, fight for America and American workers first, and defuse price wars that will surely escalate further across the globe and hurt Americans in and out of the energy industry. I remain committed to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate and the Trump Administration to help our American oil producers, including using the SPR, and to bolster our global leadership on the world stage.

Our energy industry and its workers are essential — to keep the lights on when we are staying in and to keep trucks delivering essential goods across the country. We must put partisan political games aside and protect our energy jobs, to avoid negative economic, employment, and national security impacts that could last well beyond the COVID-19 pandemic.

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