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American-made energy could provide a global opportunity to lead

Guest Commentary


We live in a nation rich with energy resources. Just look to our own backyard — the hydroelectric dams on the Snake and Columbia River systems fuel the Pacific Northwest with some of the cleanest and most affordable electricity around.  

But today, we see a world ripe with complex relationships entangled by the Obama administration’s own resistance to develop American-made energy.

With recent events in Ukraine, it is clear that now, more than ever, America must look to become the world’s energy leader. 

Oil and gas trade make up half of Russia’s total export revenue, and one-third of Europe’s natural gas comes from Russia. Vladimir Putin’s recent invasion of Ukraine has left our European allies uncertain of their energy supply moving forward, as one of Russia’s most valuable gas pipelines runs straight through the pro-Europe Western Ukraine.  

It is little surprise Russia’s state-controlled gas company, Gazprom, is now charging 37 percent more for gas in Ukraine. We should not allow Russia’s energy exports to fuel Putin’s force — particularly when we are experiencing an energy revolution here in the U.S.  

Recent innovation in energy technology is providing us new opportunities.

In fact, according to the Energy Information Administration, by 2040, U.S. production of natural gas is projected to rise by 44 percent.

This enables job creation at home and entrance into the marketplace abroad.

By making use of our own energy abundance, we could supersede Russia’s influence on nations subjected to Russian energy.  

To date, President Obama and the Department of Energy have done little to bring this global opportunity to life. In the past three years alone, only six applications to export natural gas have received Department approval. Twenty-four are still pending.

It is time to cut the red tape, start creating jobs, and make America a global energy leader. 

Let this be a lesson for the future. We need to help Europe become independent of Russia and by making use of our own resources, we could change the dynamics of global relations.

We have an abundance of natural gas and other sources of energy here in North America, and as we look ahead, we know countries like China will have growing demands for energy. Why not make use of our resources to ensure America works and Americans lead?

Cathy McMorris Rodgers is the Congressional Representative from the 5th District, R-Spokane.

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