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Point: Record Production Means Energy and Economic Security

For another point of view, see: “Counterpoint: A Fossil Fuel Export Society is Wrong for America”

America’s oil and natural gas producers are innovating to produce more oil and gas than ever while generating less emissions and bringing reliable, affordable energy to Americans and our global allies. In its latest short-term energy outlook, the Energy Information Administration estimated that U.S. crude oil production reached “an all-time high in December of more than 13.3 million barrels per day.”

That production helps stabilize prices for consumers. Oil and natural gas are sold on global markets, and prices can be affected by events or decisions (frequently by bad actors) on the other side of the world. However, having strong U.S. output helps reduce the shock of those actions for Americans.

Our record level of energy production does face threats — specifically by the U.S. government, whose leaders have sought to shut down oil and gas producers with an all-of-government approach, but the industry pushes forward.

Last year, the oil and natural gas sectors continued to innovate and reach record-breaking levels of production. After becoming a net energy exporter in 2019, the United States has emerged as a behemoth in the global energy market, hitting prolific levels of oil and natural gas production and exports in the past year. U.S. liquified natural gas had a tremendous 2023, with the United States becoming the top LNG exporter in the world.

These record-breaking levels of production have not come at the expense of Americans, as some claim. On the contrary, record energy production levels have successfully met domestic and international demand, providing crucial energy security at home and abroad, all while keeping prices stable.

The American oil and natural gas industry continues to prioritize environmental progress. The workers producing the energy we use daily live in homes surrounded by the oilfield, breathing the air and drinking the water from aquifers above the oil reservoirs where they produce; thus, they are highly motivated to preserve and protect the environment for today and for future generations.

Data from the Environmental Protection Agency showed stunning drops in methane emissions across the board in oil- and natural gas-producing basins. The Arkoma Basin (Arkansas and Oklahoma) had a 77 percent decrease over the last five years. Anadarko (Oklahoma, Texas and Kansas) had a 44 percent decrease. And the Permian (Texas and New Mexico) had 32 percent less emissions. All show that even with record production, U.S. operators continue to produce oil and gas responsibly and with an eye toward methane reduction.

Voluntary initiatives like the Environmental Partnership, representing nearly 70 percent of U.S. onshore oil and gas operations, showcase the industry’s commitment to responsible operations through innovation and collaboration. In their 2023 report, the Environmental Partnership highlighted an additional 14 percent reduction in total flare volumes and a 2.4 percent reduction in flare intensity from the previous year — building on the work to cut flaring intensity nearly in half in 2022 — even as U.S. oil and gas production grew.

Considering the uncertain regulatory environment, these accomplishments and innovations are even more impressive. Nowhere has this been more apparent than in the Biden administration’s illegal actions regarding onshore and offshore leasing.

In the Gulf of Mexico, offshore production provides the lowest carbon barrels of oil, generates millions of dollars in funding for parks and recreation programs, and supports hundreds of thousands of jobs across every state. Yet the administration released an offshore plan 450 days late that only offered three lease sales over the next five years — the fewest in history.

Onshore, it’s a similar story. There are widespread administrative efforts to limit access for development despite disagreement from local groups, including tribes. The president and leaders who control the Senate want to limit capital access for producers, add new taxes and increase federal regulations.

Yes, our members are achieving record production NOW. But you can find a timeline on the Independent Petroleum Association of America website that shows how the exploration and production process — from identifying potential acreage and seismic testing to production and development — can take up to 15 years. There are many rounds of environmental analysis and permitting before a well starts producing. Much investment and planning goes into the process. Policies that stall energy production through delayed permitting, infrastructure or regulatory barriers diminish producers’ ability to operate.

The bottom line is a thriving American oil and gas industry means increased energy and economic security at home and abroad and progress toward global emission reduction goals. While administration regulatory hurdles add challenges, U.S. oil and natural gas producers continue to produce record-setting, responsible oil and natural gas.

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Counterpoint: A Fossil Fuel Export Economy Is Wrong for America

For a different point of view see: “Point: Record Production Means Energy and Economic Security”

America is producing more oil and gas than any nation at any point in history, and it’s an accomplishment that fails to give U.S. families energy security or lower prices. At the same time, U.S. exports of oil and gas have surpassed every other country on earth, enriching oil and gas executives while leaving families in the cold.

At the end of last year, more than 13 million barrels of crude oil were pumped daily from American lands and offshore waters, a record. Domestic methane gas production also set a record of more than 105 billion cubic feet daily.

America’s fossil fuel boom has resulted in massive profits for Big Oil giants, as companies pay out huge sums to shareholders and export fossil fuels worldwide while leaving American households, businesses and low-income communities in the lurch.

In recent years, the United States has followed the Qatari economic development model, latching our economy to finite natural resources with highly volatile prices. This move spells disaster for the global climate.

The surge of oil and methane gas exports is not only lethal for the planet, it means that we put American consumers at risk of paying higher — and more volatile — prices. Two years ago, the outbreak of war in Ukraine made clear that the boom in U.S. fossil fuel production and exports did nothing to remove Americans from the wild swings of energy markets.

Historically, what has set the American economy apart is not our aptitude for exporting raw natural resources but the value provided by manufacturing and innovation — the very sectors threatened by the higher fuel prices that will result from exports.

Instead of a raw material-extraction economy, we should build a sustainable, decarbonized 21st-century clean energy economy, which requires swiftly phasing out the fuels of the 19th century.

The U.S. economy is more tightly interlinked with global energy markets, so U.S. consumers are even more vulnerable to international supply shocks and punishing price swings.

This volatility is partly a consequence of the oil and gas industry’s push to make more money by exporting fuel, including an industry lobbying blitz that led to a 2015 decision by Congress to end a ban on crude oil exports that dated back to the energy crisis of the mid-1970s.

At the time, television ads paid for by the American Petroleum Institute claimed that lifting the export ban would push down gasoline prices and diminish Russia’s and Iran’s influence over gasoline prices. These claims proved untrue.

Oil billionaire Harold Hamm, CEO of Continental Resources, was more forthright about the true goal: more profit.  “We’re out here trying to compete at a discounted price,” Hamm told CNBC then. “I need to be able to deliver my oil to my partners in South Korea, but I can’t do it.”

But what’s good for the profits of Big Oil barons like Hamm is terrible for American families and businesses.

Fossil fuel industry talking points regarding exports of liquified methane, or LNG, are even more misleading. Exports of this fuel were nonexistent before 2016. But in just a few short years, the United States has become the world’s largest LNG exporter.

We should not make our residential and business gas customers compete with Berlin and Beijing for LNG produced in the United States. One energy model found that approving pending LNG terminals would increase spending on gas by $11 billion to $18 billion annually, with the most significant burden falling on low-income families. The trade group representing industrial businesses that are large consumers of gas and electricity is warning about the increased costs to its members.

Thankfully, the Biden administration is starting to take these issues seriously. President Biden’s wise decision last month to pause new approvals of LNG export terminals and establish a more robust public interest evaluation of those projects is a welcome sign.

Under federal law, the Department of Energy is required to evaluate whether LNG export projects are in the public interest. Yet, the agency has done a poor job of considering the negative effects on the climate, on vulnerable communities near LNG plants and on prices paid by consumers. The deck has been stacked in favor of export terminal developers.

Big Oil executives have pursued an “America Last” policy, price gouging consumers and pushing harmful export policies, a myopic vision that puts profit above everything. In the long run, we must wean ourselves from a dangerous dependence on fossil fuels that have sowed turmoil and chaos.

Reconsidering the effect fossil fuel exports have on our economy and climate is a vital step toward protecting American households and businesses from the impact that fuel exports have on our economy.

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Spotted Owl, Meet the Sagebrush Lizard

he Biden administration opened up a new front in the oil and gas wars over the July 4 weekend by advancing a rule through the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to put the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard on the Endangered Species List.

The lizard’s habitat runs through the Permian Basin, where nearly 40 percent of oil and 15 percent of natural gas is produced in the U.S. 

The action joins a long list of executive orders and proposed agency rules by the administration that critics say are designed to kill the fossil fuel industry. President Joe Biden has made no secret of his goal to push the country to alternative energy sources in pursuit of what one expert calls “overly ambitious climate targets.” 

“The problem is we don’t have the infrastructure in place both in terms of the generation and transmission of electricity,” said Marc Scribner, senior transportation policy analyst at the Reason Foundation. 

Even as the administration heavily subsidizes electric vehicles, Scribner pointed out the charging infrastructure remains sketchy. He said that most people can upgrade their home’s electrical panel, but that’s another added cost. 

At the same time, electric vehicles add to the stress of the nation’s electric grid, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to make it less stable. 

A new rule announced in May would require most fossil fuel power plants to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent between 2023 and 2040 or shut down. According to an agency analysis, approximately 120 natural gas and 200 coal-fired plants would be affected. 

“Powerplant shutdowns due to the rule could mean electricity grid failures in cities and communities across the country,” says Guy F. Caruso, a former U.S. Energy Information Administration administrator. “This could not come at a worse time, as our electrical grid is already strained with more electric household appliances and cars pulling power from the grid. In other words, if plants are forced to close prematurely, Americans will be paying more for a less stable grid.”

The administration has never disguised its negative view of fossil fuels, but its aggressive actions are at odds with most Americans, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center. While 67 percent of U.S. adults support prioritizing the development of alternative energy sources over fossil fuels, just 31 percent support phasing out fossil fuels entirely, and another 32 percent don’t believe the country is ready to begin a phase-out. 

“Emotional rhetoric can only carry you so far,” Scribner said. “We’re not seeing reality align with some of the most aggressive calls to action.” 

Two high-ranking Senate Republicans want the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to look at the administration’s aggressive clean power plan – Proposed Clean Power Plan 2.0 – through a series of conferences to analyze the negative impact on grid reliability. 

“The proposal presents unjustifiable claims about the future availability of technologies – including carbon capture, clean hydrogen, and the related infrastructure – used to power our electric grids,” Sens. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) and Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) wrote in a letter to FECR Chairman Willie L. Phillips and Commissioners James Danly, Allison Clements, and Mark C. Christie.

The letter highlights statements from several commissioners, warning of an “impending, but avoidable, reliability crisis [caused by] public policies that are otherwise designed to promote the deployment of non-dispatchable wind and solar assets or to drive fossil-fuel generators out of business as quickly as possible.” 

The proposed designation of the sagebrush lizard as an endangered species is likely to spark a similar reaction as people after the EPA and the Consumer Product Safety Commission suggested outlawing gas stoves. 

“Anti-energy activists have been desperate to shut down drilling in the Permian Basin for years,” said Tim Stewart, president of the U.S. Oil & Gas Association, according to reports in Forbes. “Texas oil and gas operators spent tens of millions of dollars in voluntary conservation efforts to protect the dunes sagebrush lizard. Environmental groups meanwhile added nothing to the conservation efforts but petitions and lawsuits.”

More than 3 million acres of lizard habitat in Texas and New Mexico are enrolled in a conservation agreement that has helped protect the Dunes Sagebrush Lizard for more than a decade, according to Ben Shepherd, president of the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. 

Such efforts, though, are met with scorn and derision from environmental activists who cheer damage to priceless works of art while middle-class families struggle to pay rising utility bills. 

 “It’s no surprise that Americans continue to support the reliability and affordability of traditional energy sources to power their homes and automobiles,” said Craig Stevens, a spokesman for GAIN, an energy coalition group that promotes sound policies that safeguard economic and national security. “Policymakers should embrace a true ‘all of the above’ energy policy that strengthens our nation’s energy security while ensuring access to the power Americans need.”

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BAGHERI: Oil Extraction and Environmentalists

Oil extraction in Alaska has been a subject of controversy for decades. While proponents argue that it will enhance the country’s energy security and create jobs, environmentalists are concerned about its potential impact.

The project began in the 1960s and involved drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) in northeast Alaska. ANWR is a 19.6 million-acre region that is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including caribou, polar bears and migratory birds. The region is also significant for its cultural and spiritual importance to the Gwich’in people, who have lived there for thousands of years.

Environmentalists argue that the oil-drilling project will cause significant harm to ANWR’s delicate ecosystem. The drilling process involves using heavy machinery and drilling rigs that could damage the fragile tundra. The tundra is home to several plant species, including lichens and mosses that are crucial for soil stability and carbon sequestration. The drilling process could also lead to releasing of greenhouse gases and contaminating of soil and water resources, potentially harming wildlife and human health.

Oil spills and leaks could potentially harm these native species and cause long-term damage to their habitat. Additionally, they could disrupt the caribou’s migratory patterns, significantly affecting the Gwich’in, who rely on caribou for their subsistence and cultural practices.

These concerns have been amplified in recent years because of climate change. The Arctic is one of the regions most affected by climate change, with temperatures rising twice as fast as the global average. The melting of sea ice has opened up new opportunities for oil drilling, but it has also increased the risk of oil spills and leaks. Moreover, the extraction and burning of fossil fuels contribute significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, exacerbating climate change.

The project also raises questions about the country’s energy policy and commitment to transitioning to cleaner energy sources. The United States is one of the largest oil consumers, with more than 90 percent of its transportation fueled by petroleum products. While the country has made progress in increasing the use of renewable energy sources, its dependence on oil remains a significant challenge. The Alaskan project highlights the need for a comprehensive and sustainable energy policy that balances energy needs with environmental obligations.

Despite the concerns of environmentalists, the project has received support from some politicians and industry groups. Supporters argue that the project will enhance the country’s energy security by reducing its dependence on foreign oil and will create jobs. They also point out that the project will generate significant revenue for the government, which could be used for infrastructure development and other public projects.

Alaskan authorities have generally supported oil exploration in the Arctic. They argue that oil exploration and drilling would benefit the state. However, not all Alaskan authorities support oil exploration in the area.

Alaska Native communities, particularly those that rely on subsistence hunting and fishing, have expressed concerns about the potential effect of oil exploration and drilling on their way of life. They argue that the project would disrupt the region’s ecological balance and harm the wildlife they depend on for their subsistence.

Moreover, the Alaskan authorities’ stances on oil exploration are one of many factors that determine whether the project moves forward. The Bureau of Land Management regulates oil exploration and drilling in Alaska. The decision-making process involves evaluating the project’s potential environmental effects and economic benefits.

The contentious project highlights the tension between energy needs and environmental obligations. As the world faces the challenges of climate change and the need for a sustainable energy policy, it is essential to consider the long-term consequences of oil extraction projects and prioritize protecting our planet’s natural resources.

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Counterpoint: On Energy Policy, Let’s Live in the Now

For an alternative viewpoint see: Point: Nuclear Fusion Is the Energy Source of the Future

“Still decades and hundreds of billions of dollars away.”

That was the sobering refrain from the recent nuclear fusion announcement that has already taken decades and cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars to get to this point of—wait for it—still being decades and hundreds of billions of dollars away.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration is thwarting domestic energy development and Congress can’t pass bipartisan permitting reform to make energy siting and transmission more predictable. All this while the nation suffers from the imperfect storm of gasoline and natural gas costs, increasing frequency of blackouts and brownouts, and a greater reliance on foreign energy sources.

Considering the genuine challenges our nation is facing, the U.S. should focus its resources on tangible solutions that are available now.

Around the world, more than 2 billion people live in energy poverty, and millions of Americans struggle to pay for electricity and transportation fuels. Separately, the war in Ukraine has highlighted an over-reliance on Russian natural gas in European countries — a gap that U.S. natural gas could help fill. In fact, the administration has promised more U.S. gas to England and other allied nations despite a history of making it more difficult for U.S. energy companies to extract and transport those resources domestically.

And not only is the federal government an obstacle, but some political and business leaders, like Michael Bloomberg, are underwriting public relations campaigns to end the use of traditional energy sources while they fly on private jets, sail on yachts, and live in mansions. They do not appreciate the struggle for affordable energy, potable water, and good jobs that most citizens of the country, and the world, seek.

The International Energy Administration and the U.S. Energy Information Administration acknowledge petroleum and natural gas will be among the most widely needed fuels for at least the next 50 years, and likely longer. Fuels that are necessary to drive vehicles, heat homes, and cook food.

In addition to leveraging North American petroleum and natural gas supplies, the U.S. has an opportunity to promote the advancement of traditional renewable energy sources. To his credit, President Joe Biden has presided over the largest deployment of solar and wind in U.S. history. Continued investment, coupled with a robust natural gas industry, is the best way to keep our economy strong, reduce carbon emissions and expand our electricity generation capacity.

Biden, working with Congress, secured record investments to accelerate renewable energy sources through landmark laws like the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the Inflation Reduction Act. Through his Cabinet, departments have established important goals to build America’s budding offshore wind energy industry and increase the generation capacity of solar to help us reduce carbon emissions by the end of this decade. It is a challenge, but one that is within reach.

It is important that the United States, and specifically the Department of Energy, support new and innovative technologies to help us reach a clean energy future. A future that nuclear fusion may be a part of.

However, it is critical that we leverage our current resources to meet the energy demands of today—both domestic and global—by allowing U.S. energy companies to develop and transport the traditional energy resources that we have domestically. This will help lower the cost of energy, grow our economy and support our allies while greening our environment — all without waiting decades and spending hundreds of billions more dollars hoping for the best possible result from a cool science project.

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KEATING: Banning Oil Exports Is About Politics, Not Sound Economics

Just ahead of the midterm elections, the Biden administration and its allies launched a last-ditch effort to shift the narrative around high gasoline prices, pointing the finger at energy companies and threatening new taxes and potential market restrictions. Unfortunately, bad politics breeds bad policies, with potentially devastating results for American small businesses and consumers.

It is a tale as old as Washington: Politically motivated “solutions” may sway some, but the facts say otherwise. For example, one idea under consideration by the administration is banning gasoline, diesel, and other refined petroleum exports in hope to mitigate high prices at the pump. The White House has even requested the Department of Energy assess the possible impact of banning refined petroleum products. Further, Rep. Ro Khanna, a Biden administration ally, introduced a bill last month that would temporarily prohibit the export of motor fuel during periods when pump prices are high.

In reality, that type of government intervention imposes barriers on free markets and leads to distortions that inevitably result in less production, continued high prices, and grim consequences for our allies abroad.

The problem of increased prices cannot be solved with naïve, or cynical, policies like an export ban. Gasoline and other refined products are globally traded commodities, with the U.S. representing 12.1 percent of refined oil exports globally. Basic economics teaches us a decrease in the supply of a service or commodity, like oil, while demand remains the same, means the price tends to rise. More product in the market lowers prices globally, not just in the U.S. Alternatively, banning the export of refined products would likely just decrease inventory levels – why would a company invest if they can’t sell it? – and place more upward pressure on fuel prices.

According to a study conducted by the American Council for Capital Formation, refined products originally slated for export would be trapped in our coastal refineries, mainly driven by the lack of infrastructure to transport and divert these products from Gulf region refineries to the East and West coasts. This would ultimately lead to refinery capacity decreases domestically as well as an increase in product prices in the global market. The same study concluded that “more than two-thirds of U.S. consumers will see price increases, including average increases of more than 15 cents per gallon.”

Additionally, we cannot turn a cold shoulder to our allies. During the first half of 2022, the U.S. exported record amounts of petroleum products. For example, U.S. propane exports to Europe increased by 51 percent and set a record of 349,000 barrels a day in June. And when the EU’s new refined petroleum products sanctions on Moscow take effect in February, our allies will look to the U.S. as a global leader in exports to help fill that void.

Freeing markets from government controls, and relying on private competition and cooperation, enhances efficiencies, investment, and production – all subject to consumer sovereignty. Take, for example, the removal of the decades-long ban on crude oil exports in 2015. A study commissioned by the energy industry this year found that this policy reversal led to an increase of $161 billion in U.S. GDP, the addition of an annual average of 48,000 jobs, and reduced gas prices by an annual average of 4.6 cents per gallon. Clearly, embracing isolationist policies like restricted exports does not work in our economy’s favor.

The U.S. is facing increased global energy demand, constrained supply, and geopolitical instability, a situation that would be made far worse with these misguided Biden policies. Banning or restricting the export of refined petroleum products or crude oil is not the answer in the near term or over the long haul. The Biden administration and political allies ought to focus on providing tax and regulatory relief for the U.S. energy industry, and not meddling in critical international supply chains in the name of politics.

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VOGEL: Stop Biden’s Inflation by Sending a Republican to Congress

When I talk to the citizens of the 6th Congressional District, the number one complaint is always the same: the Biden Inflation is crippling their household budgets. Working families in Berks and Chester counties are getting crushed by inflation this country hasn’t experienced in 40 years.

March’s annualized inflation rate hit a record 8.5 percent. The median household income in Pennsylvania is $70,000, but adjusting for inflation, these families are taking over a $5,000 pay cut.

The sharpest teeth in inflation’s bite are reserved for lower-income earners. The greatest increases in prices are occurring for gas and food, both of which constitute a larger portion of a family’s expenses with the less they earn. Rent is often the biggest monthly expense for working families, and that has also been increasing at a record pace.

The inflation has two drivers: the cost of oil has doubled since Biden took office and the federal government has accelerated deficit spending, adding $7 trillion in additional debt since COVID. These two factors, coupled with COVID shutdowns and lockdowns, backed by neither science nor common sense, have caused real harm to families across all income levels and especially for those struggling at the lower end.

The solutions are equally apparent. We must undo President Biden’s war on oil production (the only war he seems to be able to win), and we must put an end to wasteful spending.

During the Trump administration, we were an oil exporting nation. Due to Biden’s crackdown on expanding domestic production as well as reducing our refining capacity by shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, we are more dependent on bad actors in the world like Russia and OPEC and more at risk for the wild price fluctuations that we are experiencing now.

COVID has been used as an excuse by the government not just to shut down businesses and schools, but to dramatically increase spending. We must we end this spree funded by debt that will cause future generations to suffer. We need to make hard choices about reforming the entitlement programs that consume a majority of the budget and are teetering towards bankruptcy.

Not only has our incumbent congresswoman, Chrissy Houlahan, not taken any action to address the macroeconomic issues that have forced a universal pay cut on her constituents, she and others like her, are at the root cause of the problem.

Houlahan voted for the reckless Biden budgets that have poured metaphorical gasoline on the inflationary fire, but she’s also opposed any effort to increase production of real gasoline here in the US.

As your next congressman, I will introduce legislation that expands our production, and I will not vote for any budget that does not contain a significant pathway towards regulatory reform and a massive reduction in spending.

The leftwing media recently suggested that middle-class Americans deal with inflation by cutting back bulk purchases, letting pets die rather than visiting the veterinarian and eating lentils instead of meat. I propose a much easier option: vote out far-left Democrats like Chrissy Houlahan that have brought us here and elect people like myself with a real solution to end inflation and restore the wages of working families here in Pennsylvania and across the country.

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Dr. Oz Holds Town Hall Meeting in West Chester

U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz took Joy Cahaley’s blood pressure during a town hall meeting in West Chester Thursday morning.

“What gets your blood pressure up?” he asked her.

“Politics,” she said, drawing laughter from the audience of about 200 who turned out to hear Oz speak.

Joy Cahaley and Dr. Mehmet Oz

Cahaley says she is frustrated and worried for her kids and granddaughter.

“Everything is so wrong…We have to be able to think for ourselves,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion. “Believe in what we want. Believe in our freedom and our abilities. Or we’re going to be like Ukraine.”

Oz agreed. Ukraine “needs our assistance,” she continued. “Washington, where are you? They need your help.”

“It is emotional for all of us,” Oz replied.

When he travels to foreign countries, people often ask him to “please take care of America.” Oz told the crowd. His reply: “Why do you care?”

And they tell him America’s democracy is an example for their countries to emulate.

“We’re the north star for a lot of the world,” Oz said. “One of my concerns is China because China must destroy us.” The U.S. is democratic and capitalistic while China is “totalitarian, authoritarian.”

Michael Brown and Dr. Oz

“No one is going to choose China. They’re going to choose us.”

Michael Brown, who came to see the TV celebrity, said he is concerned Oz won’t be able to change what happens in Washington. He also worries about an education system where kids who are not athletes or academic stars feel “less than.”

Oz started a program, HealthCorps, to help schools, kids and parents. And when he was on the President’s Council for Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, he found there is a lack of coaches.

Brown agreed that his wrestling coach had been important to him. Oz said his high school football coach was his mentor, who gave him insight into how to be tough and persevere when things got rough.

“It’s come in handy in the operating room when things aren’t going well and they’re looking for leadership,” said Oz. “If you panic, you’re finished — and so is the patient.”

Oz touched on many of his positions during his talk, saying that he is pro-life and had operated on the tiny heart of an unborn baby. He also favors school choice and opposes critical race theory being taught in public schools, explaining that it is drawn from Marxist ideology.

Oz said he decided to run for office after seeing the “authoritarian” way the government handled the COVID pandemic, and how government and “big tech” combined to censor people from expressing differing points of view.

“Our nation is in crisis and it’s not right for me to hide in my (television) studio,” he said. “Which is a nice safe, sequestered place with a lot of people pampering me or to hide in the operating room, which for doctors is a very safe place to be, too, by the way.”

“Not for the patients,” he joked.

“What’s the point if I’m going to watch the world around me, a country I love dearly, what’s the point?” he said. America “did not have to take in my family.” His dad was a Turkish doctor who was recruited to come here in the 1950s when there was a physician shortage, Oz said.

America “gave us an unbelievable opportunity. It’s come time to pay that debt.”

During COVID he learned from doctors in other countries that an inexpensive malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, might work. “And I was so excited. And then President Trump mentioned it,” he said.

“The media hated (Trump) so much that they didn’t want this to work. They rooted against hydroxychloroquine. Even today after two years, we don’t know if it works,” he said.

Oz aid he tried to fund a study of that drug, but former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo quashed it.

On energy policy, Oz said the “Green New Deal will not work scientifically. Forget about policy. It’s not going to work…And we have to get the natural gas from under our feet, which we have more of than just about anybody on the planet, enough to power our nation for hundreds of years, and start using it. But we have nonpolitical people blocking that…activists prevent energy companies from putting safe and ecological pipelines through New York State to New England with natural gas from us. So guess where New Jersey and New England get their natural gas from? They import it.”

“They get oil from Russia when they don’t have enough, so we’re aiding and abetting our enemies and hurting ourselves, our national security, our energy independence goes away,” he said. “And no one thinks it’s a good idea for our country not to be able to protect itself with energy. Look what happened in Europe. The Germans gave up their nuclear plants because it was the woke thing to do. Now they have no energy. They have to trust the Russians. Bad move. Putin is able to hold them, hostage while invading those poor Ukrainians, who had nothing to do with this.”

Although Oz did not say much about the crisis in Ukraine at his West Chester event, he did discuss it with Fox host Sean Hannity. He described the humanitarian crisis, including children being treated for cancer who are sheltering in hospital basements.

“Putin is this murderous thug and he’s causing all kinds of consequences independent of the ones we’re seeing on TV,” Oz said. “I just don’t understand why we’re importing Russian oil. I do not know why Joe Biden did not bring it up in the State of the Union. It’s one of the reasons Putin feels enabled. He can’t believe his luck.”

Earlier polls showed Oz was the clear leader among the Republican candidates for Senate. However, a Franklin & Marshall poll released Thursday showed the top three candidates within a few points of each other.

Hedge fund manager David McCormick leads at 13 percent, followed by former ambassador Carla Sands at 11 percent, and Oz at 10 percent.

Afterward, Brown said he will support Oz, but Cahaley is uncertain, telling the Delaware Valley Journal she also likes Kathy Barnette.

Kathy Luisi of Tredyffrin said, “I thought (Oz) was excellent.” She is the mother of adopted children and is pro-life. She also liked his support of school choice.

“I was impressed with him,” said Rhonda Holly of Glenmoore. “I like everything I heard.”

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YAW: Are We Nuts? American Energy is Key to Undermining Putin’s War

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody and unhinged campaign to topple a democratic nation once subjugated by the former Soviet Union has resurrected the threat of global conflict from its deep, dark Cold War-era grave.

It’s easy to paint the invasion of Ukraine as the delusions of a narcissistic despot desperate to cement his legacy as the man who muscled Russia’s way back to the top of the world superpower list. In doing so, we ignore the uncomfortable truth: Putin spent years bolstering Russia’s economy with oil and gas exports, knowing full well the West’s race to renewables left them vulnerable and dependent.

As a natural consequence, any imposed sanctions meant to cripple Russia’s energy sector will reverberate across the globe, cutting countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) the deepest.

This is what I, and many others, mean when we say energy independence is a matter of national security. And this is why short-sighted climate policies – like forcing Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and cancelling natural gas infrastructure, the Keystone XL pipeline chief among them – are so very dangerous. People across the world, not just in Ukraine, will die from the leverage Russia holds over global energy exports.

How much control does Russia have, exactly? The EU is the largest importer of natural gas in the world and 53 percent of their supply came from Russia in 2020 alone. In the United States, about 11 percent of our crude oil imports came from Russia last year – a smaller, albeit significant chunk that will cause financial pain stateside as the war against Ukraine escalates.

Some analysts believe crude oil prices may reach $150 per barrel this summer, up from roughly $50 just two years ago when American energy policy prioritized independence.

President Trump, love him or hate him, cautioned western Europe about the risks of relying on Russian natural gas. Germany ignored those warnings and closed much of its nuclear and coal generation facilities in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, Germany now finds itself in a very serious dilemma of failing to recognize the importance of natural gas in its decisions.

Germany isn’t alone in its shortsightedness. Democratic leaders in western nations, acting on behalf of wealthy green energy donors, fail to see the big picture time and time again. It doesn’t matter how many countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement if all of them also allow China to ramp up its emissions over the next decade.

Pollution knows no borders. Renewable energy accounts for less than one third of global energy supply and remains notoriously unreliable. That’s why, in addition to fueling the EU, Russia made a lucrative deal to supply China with 100 million tons of coal.

We can attack Putin’s assets and Russia’s banks all we want, but so long as he’s cornered a sector of the energy market, his imperialist ambitions will not subside.

But all is not lost. The United States can change course. We can ramp up energy production with the same urgency we experienced when manufacturers pivoted to make masks and ventilators at the onset of the pandemic. We can ease Biden-era policies meant to restrict oil and gas production and exports. We can greenlight Keystone and other pipelines. And we can unleash our plentiful gas supply right here in Pennsylvania to help with that mammoth effort.

Pennsylvania, according to the Energy Information Administration, remains number two in natural gas production nationwide and became the largest supplier of electricity in the United States in 2020. In Pennsylvania alone, more than half of households use natural gas to stay warm. Our 49 underground storage sites also remain key to meeting regional demand in winter.

That’s why Gov. Tom Wolf must abandon policies meant to hamstring the industry, like his devotion to RGGI or his alignment with New York on halting infrastructure that could supply New England with cleaner, cheaper Pennsylvania natural gas instead of – you guessed it – Russia’s inferior product.

But Wolf isn’t the only one standing in the way. Our country still bans liquified natural gas (LNG) cargo ships from delivering between domestic ports unless registered in the United States. Of the more than 400 existing LNG carriers, none fly the U.S. flag.

This law, known as the Jones Act, was enacted in 1920 and leaves us entirely dependent on foreign transports to deliver LNG when pipelines aren’t feasible. The same law prevented production facilities in the southern U.S. from delivering to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in 2017.

Think of how much the world has changed in a century, let alone from just a year or two ago. Where is the logic in buying from a hostile nation instead of adopting policies that make it easier to use what we produce ourselves? Is there any recognition of the common good – or are we just nuts?

Russia has now weaponized its natural gas supply and soon it will squeeze ancillary industries like fertilizer manufacturing and ultimately, food production. If you control the food supply, you control the people. It’s a brutal tactic Russian dictators of decades past know all too well.

Our elected officials must set aside their allegiance to green energy lobbyists and turn up gas production so that we can crush Putin’s war machine without setting a single foot on foreign soil. As a nation that prides itself on its staunch defense of liberty, we must not undermine Ukraine’s fight for freedom by bankrolling their aggressor. And natural gas is the most valuable commodity Russia has – for now.

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Biden Stands By Nominee Who Wants Oil, Gas Biz To ‘Go Bankrupt’

In a newly-uncovered video, President Joe Biden’s nominee to help oversee the nation’s banking system says that if small U.S. oil and gas companies went bankrupt, that would be a good thing.

It’s a suggestion that in the current climate — gasoline prices soaring and some consumers looking at 50 percent hikes in energy costs this winter – may not be such a “good thing” for getting her nomination through a 50-50 Senate.

Saule Omarova, tapped by Biden to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has been embroiled in controversy since her nomination was first announced. While she did hold a minor role in the George W. Bush Treasury Department, her economic resume is nontraditional at best.

While a student at Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia, not Moscow, Idaho) where she was a “V.I. Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship” recipient, Omarova wrote her thesis on “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.” Now that she’s been nominated to one of the top financial positions in the administration, Republican senators like Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania moderate, want her to release a copy as part of the vetting process.

Thus far, she has refused.

“Republicans will overwhelmingly oppose this self-described radical,” Toomey said last month. Professor Omarova “has been celebrated on the far left for promoting ideas she herself has described as radical,” including advocating for “effectively end[ing] banking as we know it.”

Now a video of Omarova addressing the Jain Family Institute’s 2021 Social Wealth Seminar in March has raised new concerns.

“Here what I’m thinking about is primarily coal industry and oil and gas industry,” said Omarova in a video clip unearthed by American Accountability Foundation (AAF). “A lot of the smaller players in that industry are going to probably go bankrupt in short order — at least, we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change.”

Omarova went on to say that “we cannot afford” the economic fallout and job losses that would ensue if the U.S. were to bankrupt oil companies. But given her progressive politics — she’s proposed having all private bank deposits go to the federal government in order to “democratize money” — her sentiments are hard for the energy sector to ignore.

“This is ludicrous,” says Dan Weaver, president and executive director of Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, a membership organization with businesses large and small, some of them family-owned operations. “That idea is preposterous and sickening, to say the least.”

“This is a reminder that there are opponents of oil and gas who are in high positions or seeking high positions in the Biden administration,” says Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research (IEA) and American Energy Alliance (AEA). “I think people see that at the pump. They’ve seen reports that they’re going to pay more this winter.”

The timing of the new revelation is problematic for Biden and his Democratic allies. The White House has taken several high-profile actions to discourage domestic fossil fuel production, even as consumers have been hit with higher gasoline prices and warnings that home heating costs this winter will soar.

The Biden administration even asked OPEC to increase production to help people dealing with high gas and heating oil prices. OPEC declined, leading critics to say the administration should rethink its steps against domestic oil and gas production.

Locally, U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Valerie Arkoosh is calling for a statewide ban on fracking, despite the billions in economic impact from the industry.

“We’ve already seen Keystone XL pipeline workers lose their jobs, we’ve seen people’s businesses and their family budgets hurt by higher gas prices and ultimately that’s the game,” says Kish. “The game is to drive energy costs to skyrocketing levels and make it very difficult for people to use a kind of energy they use in the hopes that they’ll go and use the stuff that they want to use.

“Natural gas generation is leading to a cleaner atmosphere,” added Weaver, pointing to data from EIA. “The science is there, and if we were to ‘bankrupt’ all the oil and gas companies here, where is the energy coming from? What about the thousands of products that we use every day that don’t come from anything other than those feedstocks?”

The White House continues to back the troubled nomination. “Saule Omarova is eminently qualified and was nominated for this role because of her lifetime of work on financial regulation, including in the private sector, in government, and as a leading academic in the field. The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination,” they said in a statement to Fox News.

And while Toomey has been an outspoken opponent, Pennsylvania’s other senator, Democrat Bob Casey, has been silent.

All things considered, Kish says it does not surprise him that somebody connected to the Biden administration feels this way about oil and gas.

“What surprises me is that she mistakingly said it publicly, or at least in a way that became public,” says Kish. “I don’t think she expected it to become public.”