This editorial ran in The Marysville Advocate on October 19, 2022.

A growing energy crisis is creating financial strain for American families and putting our country’s national security at risk. Through innovation and by embracing an all-of-the-above energy strategy, the United States can once again achieve energy independence, lower prices and supply energy to our allies.

With energy and gas prices nearing an all-time high, the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) – a group of oil-producing countries including Saudi Arabia – recently announced it will significantly cut domestic oil production.

This decision will further drive up the cost of gas and allow Russia to sell its oil at a higher price, funding Putin’s war against Ukraine. Being forced to rely on countries controlled by dictators to supply our energy puts our own national security at risk and sends millions of American dollars overseas.

Rather than taking steps to increase domestic energy production, President Biden responded to OPEC’s announcement with plans to again release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Given that the U.S. consumes nearly 20 million barrels of oil per day, the decision to release another 10 million barrels from the reserve will have a minimal effect on lowering prices at the pump.

Draining our emergency oil supply – already at its lowest level in four decades – is a short-sighted and dangerous choice that endangers our energy security at a critical time of global uncertainty. Unfortunately, this administration has made it clear that it would rather explore easing sanctions on oppressive governments in countries like Venezuela, than support American energy production here at home.

While Kansas is well-known for ag production, our state also powers the country through energy production. From wind turbines to methodical oil wells and nuclear plants, Kansas harnesses both natural resources and innovation to produce numerous types of energy.

I believe in an all-of-the-above energy strategy that utilizes domestic sources of oil, natural gas and coal; renewable energy sources like biofuels, wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower; and the use of nuclear energy.

I recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a renewable energy diesel plant in Hugoton that uses agricultural and animal production byproducts to create fuel. This type of innovation coupled with traditional energy production is a significant step to help solve our energy shortage.

Rather than support American energy production, the Department of the Interior announced it would raise royalty rates for onshore leases and cut acreage available for leasing by 80 percent. Even as the administration drained the national oil reserve, it allowed the offshore oil and gas leasing program to expire. The new proposed program could result in no new leases through 2028, an unprecedented policy.

With this program now lapsed, and many other offshore leases canceled, the administration is jeopardizing our nation’s ability to use our own vast resources for energy independence.

Our nation has the ability to be energy independent again, and Kansas has a role to play in accomplishing that mission. Rather than relying on countries controlled by dictators to supply our energy, we can utilize all sources of production to supply our energy right here at home. It is time to unleash domestic energy production in order to lower prices, support American jobs and decrease our reliance on foreign adversaries for our energy.