We stand at a critical juncture in the life of our nation and our state. Proposals to expand federal regulation of oil and natural gas production and discussions on federal tax reform are set to begin in earnest next year. This could have a profound impact on every American citizen.
President Obama and his supporters continue to look for every opportunity to attack, weaken and destroy domestic oil and natural gas production, including carbon tax proposals, unilaterally increasing federal regulation of oil and natural gas production, and proposing to eliminate critical tax provisions to starve the industry of capital. The Obama administration’s actions are making it harder for our economy to recover and are damaging our nation’s future energy security.
That’s not only bad politics; it’s bad policy. This is an example of what happens when political orthodoxy drives energy policy, and it highlights the need to get our nation’s energy policy right.
When tax expenditures and regulatory costs increase more than the real economy, the results are destructive to economic growth. The wrong governmental policy framework generates wrong policy, and this is what we have been seeing in Washington, D.C. We are not likely to see significant economic recovery until we see change in basic policy.
A new administration could give our economy a quick and substantial boost by encouraging, rather than blocking, the development of America’s vast energy resources and by stopping the propagation of unnecessary and endless regulations that burden businesses.
As we consider energy policy this election season, we should listen to American voters on the direction of our nation’s energy policy. Recent polls show 77 percent of voters want increased production of oil and natural gas resources located here in the United States. Also, 70 percent of voters strongly support the role of natural gas in reducing greenhouse. It could not be more clear that American voters recognize the importance of all energy sources, including oil and natural gas.
At a time when energy and the economy are two of the most important issues facing everyday citizens, Americans are beginning to realize that we are moving in the wrong direction on energy policy. The way the American people decide to face our future challenges may be one of the most important events in the 21st century.
American energy policy is not a Republican issue or a Democrat issue. It is an American prosperity and leadership issue. The American people want, expect and deserve elected leaders who will place what’s best for our state and nation’s economy and energy future above partisan ideology and political posturing.
I strongly believe that the American people need and want moral, intellectual and strategic clarity and courage from our policymakers.
As we look ahead to November’s elections and beyond, energy policy discussions should focus on facts and reality, not political ideology and hyperbole. We need a national energy policy based on science, the free market and entrepreneurial spirit.
Those who act on our behalf at all levels of government should use those principles as the foundation for their energy policy decisions. We must make it clear to our elected leaders that energy policy should not be a partisan talking point, because it is too important and fundamental to our way of life.
Future generations are looking to us to get our nation’s energy policy right. They are counting on us to leave them a country that is second to none in energy production, security and economic prosperity.
Edward Cross is president of the Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Association.