Attacking energy industry just means more inflation, higher gas prices for Ohio families: Chris Ventura

COLUMBUS, Ohio — It may seem that the aftermath of Hurricane Ida has little to do with the Appalachian Basin, but the connection could not be stronger – especially when we consider the ability of energy companies to help meet our energy needs and create family-sustaining jobs.

The temporary shutdown of offshore energy production caused by Hurricane Ida in late August meant that onshore production like we have in Ohio can step into the breach to ensure American families and small business have the reliable, affordable energy we need. It also gives us all the assurance that our energy is being produced in our country in the world’s most environmentally responsible way.

Unfortunately, there are some in Congress and the Biden administration who are doing their best to make it harder for America to produce our own energy, a curious strategy given the fact that stopping U.S. energy production has played a major role in increasing gasoline prices by 44% more than last year and we are now seeing inflation growing at the fastest rate in more than a decade.

Those are just two results of the assault on traditional energy production, which included the indefinite ban on federal energy leasing and attempts to eliminate key mechanisms to help ensure the continued success of Ohio’s energy industry and environmental improvements.
The stupefying consequence of all this has been the federal government’s appeal to OPEC-plus nations to increase their oil production and ship it here to America.
The result has been laughter from those countries, whose leadership would prefer less American energy production because it increases their grip on the global oil market. Saudi, Venezuelan and Russian control over energy had been used for decades to hurt our economy and leverage geopolitical situations – until our ingenuity allowed the United States to become the world’s larest producer of oil and gas, and simultaneously, its environmental leader.
Willingly ceding control of our own energy, environmental and geconomic destiny will also risk higher prices for plastics, housing materials, automobiles, computers, paints, packaging, and thousands more products made with petroleum. If the much-promised plans to rapidly stimulate electric vehicle production become a reality, a shortage of American-produced energy products means the plastics that EVs require will cost more. EV prices, already unaffordable for many, will rise even higher.
It is important to understand that America already leads the world on actual environmental progress, not environmental promises that are good for headlines. The bottom line: America is leading the world with the largest absolute CO2 emissions reductions of any nation since 2005, a period during which total energy production trended higher and repeatedly broke records, according to Energy Information Administration data.
These environmental wins came as total oil and gas investment in Ohio grew to at least $90.6 billion, which generated core shale-related employment growth of 77% with an average wage of $81,749 a year.
This growth led to Ohio’s Building Trades investing millions in apprenticeship and safety training to ensure we have access to a world-class workforce. In fact, Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 396 saw its largest class of apprentices just this year as a result of energy development.
As our congressional delegation engages in conversations on anti-energy measures in the forthcoming reconciliation bill, we hope they take note of Ohio Senate Resolution 176 which the Ohio Senate adopted Sept. 15 by a 25-5 vote. It calls on Congress “to fight any attempt to target the natural gas and oil industry by disproportionately increasing the tax burden, or by other punitive measures ….”
And, as a result, we hope our delegation in Congress advocates for the essential energy that sustains families across our state not just through employment, but also through reducing energy costs and increasing energy security.
Chris Ventura is the Midwest executive director of the Consumer Energy Alliance, which describes itself as the country’s leading consumer advocate in support of affordable, reliable energy.

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