Burning Saudi Oil Wells a Wake Up Call
By Craig Rucker
September 17, 2019 - Over the weekend, swarms of explosive drones struck at the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil production and sent the world’s biggest crude processing plant up in flames.
About 5.7 billion barrels of output per day, as well as 2.5 billion cubic feet of natural gas, was put out of production. This amounts to over five percent of the world’s entire supply of oil. Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi rebels claimed responsibility, but U.S. officials believe they are merely front men. Iran, they say, is truly responsible.
In the meantime, to ameliorate the disruption of vital energy, President Trump has wisely authorized the release of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves. This will serve as a band-aid for the time being, but the need to re-evaluate our potential vulnerabilities and seek some long-term solutions is clearly in order. This event should serve as a wakeup call to policymakers in Washington.
If there could be a better case-in-point for why America needs to wean itself off of greater dependence on foreign sources of oil, it would be hard to find. Placing our nation’s energy security in the hands of regimes that are in unstable regions of the world like the Middle East, or with Russia and Venezuela, is a prescription for disaster. America must continue to aggressively develop its own, homegrown sources of fossil fuel energy, as well as all energy sources where it is feasible through the competition of the free market, to remain strong and free.
Unfortunately, leading Democrats in the House, along with some Republicans in Florida, seem to be hard at work at doing just the opposite.
As we reported to you last week, the House Rules Committee is right now hard at work crafting three bills designed to restrict oil and gas drilling in the U.S. These bills include provisions to stop all offshore drilling along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts, restrict new leasing in the Gulf of Mexico, and stifle all ANWR development in Alaska.
Leading Democrats running for President – including Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth Warren – have also gone down this anti-domestic energy road by recently pledging to ban all fracking should they be elected.
Needless to say, such measures are foolhardy. As this attack in Saudi Arabia has shown, the world is unstable and fraught with peril. Fossil fuels, whether they like it or not, remain integral in keeping our economy remaining strong and our standard of living intact.
Our representatives are pursuing these bans as a means to “protect the planet.” The number of additional solar panels and wind turbines they call for to replace fossil fuels, however, would require the removal of millions more acres in habitat across the United States. That would be far from “green.” Additionally, all those turbines and panels would result in a significant uptick in the hazardous waste discharged from mining for the “rare Earth metals” that are necessary to wind and solar being built. Powering the entire country on wind and solar? Talk about a large footprint.
Our nation needs not to shrink, but to grow and expand development of its oil, gas, nuclear, and coal resources in order to both better protect our national security and forge ahead toward a brighter future.