Black Gold, Texas Tea . . . Energy Independence
Perhaps I am dating myself, but we should all remember the theme song from “The Beverly Hillbillies.”
“Come and listen to the story about a man named Jed, a poor mountaineer who barely kept his family fed. And then one day he was shooting at some food, and up through the ground came a-bubbling crude. Oil, that is, black gold, Texas tea.”
Here in Texas, the bubbling crude came forth from a place fondly referred to as Spindletop, and the rest is history. Texas is now renowned as being the central point of the oil and gas industry of America. From West Texas, the Permian Basin, to East Texas, down to the refineries and export facilities spanning from Houston to Beaumont, Texas is a global leader in the energy industry.
Oil and gas production in Texas has led the U.S. into an era of energy independence. As a matter of fact, the largest exporter of liquified natural gas (LNG) in the world is Port Arthur, Texas.
The U.S. now produces more than we consume, therefore our country cannot be held hostage by unfriendly nations, including the Middle East, Venezuela, nor Russia. Not only does America’s energy security have a profound effect on our economic security, but it is vital to our national security. Therefore, any political policy that harms the oil and gas industry puts our national security at risk.
That is exactly what the Kamala Harris-Joe Biden ticket means for Texas, and the United States. Biden may have stated that he does not support the Green New Deal, but his own website begs to differ.
Harris, well, we all know she is an avowed progressive socialist and supports the folly of a delusional bartender from the Bronx named Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. We should not be surprised, at all, if the young and deranged Ocasio-Cortez were to become our new Secretary of Energy under a Harris-Biden administration. Talk about detrimental to our oil and gas industry! The Green New Deal calls for the decimation of the oil and gas industry in America in 10 years.
Oil and gas production, transportation, refining, and manufacturing are the primary economic drivers in our state. The oil and gas industry creates wealth and economic benefits to every Texan through good-paying white- and blue-collar jobs, and an increased standard of living. Texas has no state income tax largely because of the petroleum industry.
Texas has very efficient and affordable power generation systems, mostly due to its use of clean-burning and reliable natural gas. Texas also produces the greatest amount of wind energy in the nation, as well as significant amounts of solar energy. The state’s leaders realize that these forms of energy can — and must — coexist to provide reliable and affordable energy sources over many decades to come. However, wind energy cannot be distributed without natural gas pushing it through the system.
Just consider the abject insanity of California, a state that just last week mandated all-electric vehicles by 2035, at a time when the “Golden State” is experiencing rolling electricity blackouts. The great thing about Texas is that we are on our own energy grid! We do not need to take the failed path of California in mandating our citizens’ use of solar panels on their homes. How many middle-to-lower income families will be able to afford the leftist elitist mandates of highly expensive green energy homes and cars?
Oil and gas production supports Texas’ educational system through ad valorem taxes, payroll taxes, severance taxes, and much more. Oil and gas revenues provide for the Permanent University Fund, which supports the flagship universities of our state. Refineries and chemical plants provide robust tax bases for many of our school districts. In other words, the oil and gas industry in Texas has enabled Texans to have better educational opportunities. Then again, Joe Biden has already stated that is one of the first things he wants to end, charter schools, which we have here in Texas.
The oil and gas industry in Texas consists of 12,000 businesses that provide over 320,000 jobs to Texans. One of the world’s largest corporations is headquartered here in Texas, Exxon-Mobil. The Harris-Biden platform contains initiatives to end the production and use of fossil fuels on federal lands and waters. a return to the failed Obama-Biden policies.
These two candidates have also indicated a desire to end hydraulic fracturing in the prolific U.S. shale plays, including those in Texas. These policies would result in the loss of approximately 120,000 jobs in Texas by 2022, as well as a loss of $65 million to Texas state revenues. This is a price too high to pay given that, per the EPA, the U.S. produces only 15 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The real drivers of “global warming” or “climate change,” — or whatever the progressive socialist left is calling it these days — are China and India, not the United States. That whole Paris Climate Accord? Well, it was just a huge socialist dream of global wealth redistribution.
When we see a Harris-Biden yard sign in Texas, it should make one scratch their head. Who in their right mind would want to see the 10th largest economy in the world — and a leader in the global oil and gas industry — destroyed? Who in their right mind would want to see America no longer energy independent, but return to the days of being dictated to by the OPEC nations? Y’all remember how Saudi Arabia manipulated us during the crisis of the Carter administration. Venezuela was once one of the most prosperous nations in our western hemisphere. They possess greater oil reserves than Saudi Arabia. Now, due to socialist dictators who nationalized their oil and gas industry, Venezuelans are starving and dying, and their economy has been, and is, devastated.
Texans, we cannot afford to have any progressive socialist electoral victories in the Lone Star State. That means the White House, Senate, Congressional, State Senate, and State House cannot be allowed to have any lefitst electoral successes.
The oil and gas industry in Texas, combined with our impeccable, indomitable entrepreneurial spirit of innovation and ingenuity has made our nation energy independent, a global leader. We are no longer victims to despots and dictators. Why would anyone vote for an ideology, a political philosophy, and policies that would endanger that? It’s simple, really: because you’re “Stuck on Stupid.”
And, nobody likes stupid.
LTC Allen B. West (Ret.)
Republican Party of Texas