GOP Candidates Embrace Domestic Energy Production in First Debate

American energy production was top of mind at the GOP debate in Milwaukee as several candidates voiced support of the oil and natural gas industry. While no question was asked specifically by the moderators about American energy, many of the candidates pointed to unleashing domestic energy production as a means to increase energy security and lower prices for consumers.  

“We’re going to open up all energy production, we’re going to be energy dominant in this country,” said Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis within the first minutes of the debate.  

Similarly, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy called on the United States to expand domestic energy: 

 “Unlock American energy. Drill, frack, burn coal, embrace nuclear,” while later stating that “fossil fuels are a requirement for human prosperity.” 

Several of the candidates also pointed to American energy as a way to bring jobs home while producing needed resources cleaner and more efficiently than in countries like China.  

“If we want the environment to be better, and we all do, the best thing to do is bring the jobs home from China…America has cut our carbon footprint in the last 25 years,” said Senator Tim Scott.  

This is in large part due to the transition in natural gas in the power sector which has drastically reduced emissions, while many leading operators also voluntarily work to innovate and reduce methane through important programs like the Environmental Partnership 

Former Governor and Ambassador Nikki Haley also echoed how American energy production is cleaner than anywhere else in the world:  

“We do care about clean air and clean water…but there is a right way to do it. We need to start telling China and India to start lowering emissions.” 

Indeed, even as the United States leads the world in oil and natural gas production, it is far from the largest emitter of methane. That title belongs to Asia, the continent that includes the global economies of China, Russia, and India. North American methane emissions accounted for a fraction of those coming from Asia, according to the GHGSat’s latest methane emissions report, which tallied Asia at a whopping 69 percent, more than four times that of North America. 

Also referring to China, Governor Doug Burgum stressed the need to advance critical energy supply chains here in America, rather than overseas, where other countries have less stringent regulations and higher emissions profiles:  

“If you buy a battery in this country or a solar panel, its being produced in a plant in China powered by coal.”  

Support of the oil and natural gas industry in last night’s debate is no surprise and follows similar patterns where candidates on both sides of the aisle have embraced American energy, particularly in energy rich states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, Colorado and more, as energy prices have become a key pocketbook issue for voters.   

Bottom Line: Amidst a backdrop of misguidedpolicy and global volatility, candidates are touting their support for the oil and gas industry, highlighting how the United States’ energy future has taken central stage as a key way to win over voters, support American families, and increase American energy security.  


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