By Brook A. Simmons
Energy security is often taken for granted.
It’s only when we flick the switch and the lights don’t come on or when pump prices put a dent in our household budgets that we notice how important affordable and abundant energy is to our daily lives.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shined a bright light on the role energy security plays geopolitically. Russia is the world’s largest exporter of natural gas with three-quarters of that supply going to Europe via pipeline. Russia has now curtailed natural gas volumes flowing to Europe and cut off Poland, Bulgaria, the Netherlands and Finland.
Europe’s energy vulnerability has been laid bare, and it is the everyday men and women of Munich, Prague and Warsaw that are paying the price. The Old Continent is now under siege by an unprecedented heat wave. High temperatures have already claimed more than 1,000 lives due to a strained energy infrastructure that has prioritized intermittent power generation for the past decade.
The death toll will be greater when winter comes if Russia continues to weaponize its natural gas supplies to hammer European resolve and divide NATO. Without natural gas to heat homes and generate electricity, more Europeans will perish. Financial analysts are now modeling the impact of German households having to survive winter by burning wood. Brownouts and power rationing are on the horizon.
Across the Atlantic, America’s energy future remains threatened by an anti-hydrocarbon administration that cannot separate fact from fiction. President Biden has spent 18 months attacking the U.S. oil and natural gas industry, but now begs OPEC+ for oil.
The far left’s dream of a future powered by sunshine and cool breezes is a fantasy that ignores the American people’s need for secure, reliable, affordable and available energy sources at all times.
Fortunately, oil and natural gas production is up across the United States, including in Oklahoma. Rig counts are on the rise and oil and natural gas companies are investing billions of dollars into producing the affordable energy Americans so desperately need.
American energy can drive American security, but it requires government policies that embrace oil and natural gas not demonize it.
— Brook A. Simmons is president of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma