By State Senator Wayne Wallingford, Chairman, Missouri Vets-4-Energy
According to an International Energy Agency (IEA) official, Dr. Faith Birol, “The U.S. is becoming the undisputed leader of oil and gas production worldwide” and credited the “remarkable ability of producers to unlock new resources cost-effectively” for “fueling major investments in petrochemicals and other energy-intensive industries”. The IEA’s mission is: “to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 30 member countries and beyond. Our mission is guided by four main areas of focus: energy security, economic development, environmental awareness and engagement worldwide.
As Missouri Chairman of Vets-4-Energy, this is an important acknowledgment of the status of America’s efforts to secure an independent source of oil and gas without reliance upon nations that do not share our interests and democratic values. Make no mistake, the availability of these natural resources is a factor in wars waged and lives lost.
I was intrigued by the following statement by Peter B. Doran, President and CEO of the Center for European Policy Analysis: “This capacity [energy production] offers profound strategic benefits to America…It is exceptionally beneficial to our allies and partner countries in Asia, Europe and elsewhere. In some cases, our energy shipments are helping to diversify allies away from sole-sourcing dependence on Russia. This has been a long-standing aim of U.S. foreign policy. And we are only now beginning to achieve it….Americans can take pride in the fact that we are helping to protect vulnerable consumers beyond our shores, and to increase their leverage in energy negotiations with Moscow”.
The United States is in a position to capitalize on our energy dominance to enhance security for ourselves and our allies. But at the same time, we know that Russia is building the export facilities and transportation infrastructure necessary to compete. By implementing a streamlining of the permitting process and investing in energy infrastructure, we can ensure an advantage against countries such as Russia.