Our Nation’s next Independence could be Energy Independence

Yesterday was a day that most folks enjoy hot dogs on the grill, fireworks in the night sky and time with their families. Some may talk of old war stories or walk in community parades or attend neighborhood events that celebrate the spirit of  Independence Day.  It is a day of reflection on the freedoms we enjoy thanks to those who declared our independence from foreign influence.

Of course declaring independence of any kind requires a transformational moment.   For our nation’s independence that moment  was the signing of the Declaration of Independence.  Today, we are on the doorstep of being able to declare energy independence thanks to increased energy production provided by shale development.

The first question is how does energy independence and energy security happen? That happens by taking an all of the above approach to energy. As we like to say in Ohio “any community that consumes energy should produce it.” Many of Ohio’s communities have a long history with natural resources development. Providing clean burning, abundant and affordable natural gas is how Ohio can contribute to the overall national energy picture.

Transformation and advances in time tested technology is what is happening in Ohio and in other states across the country. As Tom Stewart pointed out earlier this year, the resources being developed  in Ohio can have profound implications on our nation’s energy security. Specifically,  in addition to being used right here they can also supply refineries on the East Coast that have generally had to contract their oil supplies from points very far abroad including places  such as Nigeria, Russia, Venezuela, Angola, Congo, Saudi Arabia, and even Syria.

As we continue to responsibly develop the Utica and Point Pleasant formations, much of the oil we produce here (but can’t use here) is expected to be sold to our neighbors in the East, introducing a new source of light, sweet and abundant oil that will directly compete for market share with barrels tankered-in from OPEC, the Middle East and other unfriendly regimes.

This is one small, Buckeye centered, example of why some analysts are encouraged about the United States energy future and have declared that U.S. energy independence is possible as soon as 2020.

Necessity is the mother of all inventions. The United States needs to get to a place where we are energy secure. Every president since Richard Nixon has talked about moving us as a nation in that direction. For the first time in generations today’s population is not only seeing that happen but we are the ones making it happen.

July 4th is a great time to kick off having a national conversation about security both from a national defense and energy point of view. However the conversation must not stop on the 4th,  it must be talked about on July 5th and everyday moving forward.

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