Our Divided Nation Is United on Energy Independence

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Our Divided Nation Is United on Energy Independence
AP Photo/Gerald Herbert
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There is one issue that unites America like no other: the pursuit of genuine energy independence. Our national security demands it. Our national economy demands it. It is technically possible, legally feasible, and necessary to protect hardworking taxpayers. 

After decades of failed attempts by each of his predecessors, beginning with Richard Nixon in the 1970s, President Trump is uniquely situated to put a stake in the heart of our cruel dependence on foreign oil. Best of all, he can do it on his own without having to go the Congress for approval.

In the quarter-century I have polled American priorities and policies, never have I encountered an issue that has such universal support. Fully 92 percent of the country supports a specific effort and priority to: “Make America energy dominant by using more American-made energy, including American natural gas and biofuels like ethanol, and purchasing less foreign oil.”

This isn’t my language. This is President Trump’s language and President Trump’s policy—and it has greater support than any other issue he has raised or supported since his election. As we approach the 2018 midterm congressional elections, the data teach us a powerful lesson: fully 99 percent of Republicans, 90 percent of independents and 87 percent of Democrats support an energy dominance policy that promotes American energy resources and reduces our purchasing of foreign oil. No other issue or proposal comes close.

President Trump has unlocked the development of our natural resources, but that is not enough.  We are producing and exporting oil at historic high levels, but the sad truth is that we still import around 40 percent of our oil needs, accounting for roughly 20 percent of our national trade deficit.

Worse, even if we didn’t import one barrel of oil we are still subject to the tyranny of cartels that control the world oil market. As we have seen in recent weeks, no matter how much oil we produce in America, Brent Crude (the international benchmark) has surged almost 70 percent from $44.82 on June 21, 2017 to $76.46 today. This oil price spike threatens our economic recovery and hurts Americans in the pocketbook when they fill up their cars and pickup trucks.

However, the energy policy desired by Americans isn’t just about lower gas prices. What Americans really want is to put American resources to work to create American jobs, raise American wages and create a healthy economy for everyone. We tested 25 different energy “tweets” addressing every area of public policy. One tweet towered above the rest:

“Washington talks too much and does too little. Here’s a solution: Make America energy independent. Stop buying foreign oil and start using American energy. It’s good for prices and good for American workers.”

What makes that tweet perform better than all the others is two-fold: The benefit to the American economy and the opposition to foreign oil. The number one reason Americans support energy dominance is to promote “the strength and stability of the American economy.” However, Americans are also deeply concerned about the consequences of their hard-earned money going to foreign governments hostile to American interests. When asked what concerns them the most about foreign oil, the top answer was “foreign oil is dangerous and pads the pockets of foreign enemies and terrorist groups.”

We also examined American perceptions of the role of transportation in energy independence. In their own words, they want President Trump’s energy dominance strategy to apply to our transportation needs. The single best-tested “tweet” was:

“By relying on our domestic energy resources to meet our transportation needs, we will put hundreds of billions of dollars to work for Americans, creating jobs and a healthy economy in struggling economic areas with high unemployment and a lack of good paying jobs.”

President Trump’s National Security Strategy calls for America to “embrace energy dominance” by “unleashing our abundant energy resources, including natural gas.” Specifically, “the United States will use our strategic advantage as a leading natural gas producer to transform transportation and manufacturing.”

An America First energy action plan built on American natural gas and American corn equals more jobs, more energy security, and more money for American families and American businesses.

This is a win for America.



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