The United States must commit to energy independence | My opinion

It is clear to me that the mainstream media is engaging in a campaign to blame rising gasoline prices exclusively on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, rather than including monetary policies and disastrous national energy policies of the Biden administration.

Gas prices are complex. Oil prices are complex. Both products compete globally. Russia has been funding environmental and anti-fracking groups for years, hampering America’s ability to extract and use fossil fuels.

Trump administration policies have encouraged US energy production, and the oil and gas industry has responded. For the first time in decades, American oil and gas has been allowed to be exported. We’ve been blessed with abundant and affordable energy, but it’s not just by chance. We in southeastern New Mexico know it’s hard work and it takes many talented people to find the reservoirs, develop and use the technology to drill and complete wells to extract the oil and gas from rocks a mile or two below the surface, and drill horizontal distances an additional one to two miles (and now beyond), then to transport the production to places where it can be refined into useful products for us.

President Joe Biden Joe halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline. He suspended new federal oil and gas leases. In late 2021, the President reversed another policy of former President Donald Trump when he lifted sanctions on the Nordstream 2 pipeline. The move keeps Europe dependent on Russian oil and gas rather than buying oil. American energy. Even as Russian troops gathered along the Ukrainian border last month, Biden withdrew US support for Israel’s EastMed gas pipeline project. This gas pipeline would offer our European allies an alternative to Russian gas. And Democrats accuse Trump of being a Russian asset.

The media continue to produce reports that do not describe the facts. Trying to persuade yourself that your patriotic duty is to pay $5 or more for gas is what we see in the news. Now our governor is calling us into session so that New Mexico can give tax breaks or checks to people who don’t meet certain income criteria because they pay too much for fuel. I might be willing to support a gas tax cut, but that doesn’t seem to be the governor’s proposal.

We must remain committed to American energy independence. Independence ensures national security and allows us to continue to have affordable energy. The Biden administration has no intention of easing the financial strain it is placing on the American people. Then his administration will push even harder for “clean energy” despite its failure to properly power the grid. We have already seen this effort in Santa Fe with the Energy Transition Act which will ban the use of fossil fuels for power generation after 2045.

Most, if not all, New Mexicans have already seen electricity prices go up because of this policy. If there is gas rationing and blackouts, the cries for greater government control will be deafening in both Washington and Santa Fe. Greater government control will only exacerbate the energy problem, not solve it.

New Mexico needs strong federal oil and gas leases, fast federal authorization of oil and gas wells and rights of way for roads and pipelines, and increased capacity to refine oil in fuels, plastics and other raw materials for the multitude of products. We must adopt a technology that will allow the production of electricity from natural gas and coal, the carbon dioxide being sequestered in the geological formations and from nuclear which does not emit carbon.

This will only happen if public policy in New Mexico is changed. Unfortunately, it may take power cuts and rationing to bring about such a change.


State Representative Greg Nibert is a Republican who sits in the House of Representatives. He represents District 59, which includes Chaves and Lincoln counties.

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