United States : Our Nation Continues to Make Incredible Strides Toward Energy Independence.
Were closely monitoring events in the Middle East following that provocative and dangerous Iranian attack on Saudi energy facilities, which included the largest oil processing facility in the world. As I said on Monday, Irans reckless behavior is not just a threat to the region, but to the entire global economy, and it must be met with swift consequences from the international community. But as the U.S. and our allies continue to learn more and weigh our options, theres already been one positive lesson that should not go unnoticed.
While the attack has shaken global energy markets, to be sure, the United States is much better positioned to weather the storm than we might have been in decades past. For years and years, an international attack of this magnitude would have been virtually guaranteed to immediately roil the U.S. economy and send gas prices soaring for Americans at the pump. But so far, this time around, analysts dont expect this event to yield the significant impacts we would have seen in the 70s or the 90s. Why is that? The answer is three words: American domestic energy.
Over the last decade, often over the strenuous objections of Democrats, our nation has made incredible strides toward energy independence. Weve explored new technologies, new methods, and new ways to fuel American prosperity right here at home. And its paying off big time. By 2015, our production had become so robust that I led the charge to lift the outdated ban on crude oil exports. And late last year, thanks in large part to Republican policies, the United States became a net exporter of oil for the first time in decades.
And get this: Across all forms of energy, the Department of Energy projects that next year our nation will export more energy than we import for the first time since 1953. Let me say that again. Thanks largely to Republican policies, our nation is poised to become a net energy exporter for the first time since the Eisenhower administration. Thats huge progress. Not just for our economy, but as we have just been reminded, for our national security as well.
Youd think the country would be united in celebration. But not everyone is happy. Oh, no. Last week, just days before this massive disruption in the Middle East, House Democrats sent us several bills designed to limit domestic energy development and tie Americas hands. One of these bills would have shut off exploration in a small portion of the ANWR, in remote Alaska. They want to reverse something that had been sought for 40 years until Republicans secured it in 2017.
So as far as I can tell from the bills the House keeps sending us, the socialists who are calling the shots over there have never seen a pipeline they didnt want to cancel. A responsible development they didnt want to kill. Or a step toward American energy independence they didnt want to reverse. Along with the Democratic House, this also seems to describe their partys presidential candidates.
Almost all of them have endorsed the radical idea of ending oil and gas exploration on federal lands not only offshore, but onshore too. This ideology has consequences for American prosperity. But it also weakens our nations footing in the world. Just days after these Democrat votes, we were offered a sobering reminder of just how important American energy really is. But heres the good news. This Republican Senate is on the job and we wont let Democrats take us backwards. We wont let them reduce our prosperity or make us more vulnerable to overseas chaos. Republicans will keep working to help our nation thrive.
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