For two nights last week, the Democratic candidates for president treated the American public to round two of their socialist proposals to bankrupt our nation, kill good-paying jobs, and drastically alter the fabric of our economy.
While many ideas discussed by the nearly two dozen Democratic hopefuls for the White House would spell disaster for the future of an America that is now realizing unprecedented prosperity, Joe BidenJoe BidenPelosi sets Thursday vote on bipartisan infrastructure bill Pressure grows to cut diplomatic red tape for Afghans left behind President Biden is making the world a more dangerous place MORE’s call to eliminate fossil fuels is particularly egregious.
When pressed whether he would get rid of coal and “fracking” -- the predominant process by which natural gas is extracted from the ground -- Biden pledged to get rid of both. By selling out to the far-left extreme of his party, the former vice president told hundreds of thousands of hardworking Americans that he is coming for their jobs and prepared to jack up their energy costs.
While socialists in Congress and most of those seeking the Democratic presidential nomination continue to push for the Green New Deal, a recent study showed that it would cost Pennsylvania taxpayers $70,000 per person in the first year alone.
However, the complete elimination of fossil fuels spells more pain than just massive tax increases for working families.
It means weakening our national security by eliminating our ability to be energy independent, killing a thriving energy economy and the hundreds of thousands of jobs it supports, and stopping investment in rural America.
The success of the natural gas industry in Pennsylvania and across the United States has completely shifted long-term thinking about American energy policy and our role in the global energy marketplace.
Thanks in large part to our nation’s robust supply of natural gas, the United States is no longer energy dependent, relying on foreign adversaries to meet our energy needs.
For the first time in six decades, the United States is a net natural gas exporter.
We can now use our energy exports as leverage in our foreign policy, giving our allies flexibility, while diminishing the influence of unfriendly nations.
One way to marginalize countries that do not like the United States is to bankrupt them.
The less we are forced to buy the energy exports from our foreign adversaries, the worse their economy becomes, and the less they are able to exert influence over us.
For example, last year, Massachusetts was forced to import natural gas from Russia due to New York’s refusal to put in place pipeline infrastructure that can get natural gas to markets where it is needed.
Those concerned about Russian interference need to be concerned with Russia’s ability to influence our country when Americans are forced to buy natural gas from Russian gas companies and when countries like Russia have leverage to increase the price of natural gas in the winter time and turn the lights off for millions of Americans.
That absurdity is exponentially increased in a world where fossil fuels are completely eliminated to fulfill a campaign pledge made to satiate the unsound political interests of our country’s far-left base.
The elimination of fossil fuels would also severely harm the economy in states like Pennsylvania and affect rural investment in places like my home district.
I know this first-hand. On any given day in my congressional district, natural gas companies produce between one-tenth and one-twentieth of the entire nation’s natural gas supply. The district is also home to two of the largest natural gas producing counties in the country.
This means more financial security for families, making day-to-day life more affordable.
The natural gas industry has created good-paying jobs and injected new life into our local economies as energy companies continue to partner with local communities to invest in schools and higher education, improve our infrastructure, and grow down-stream jobs.
The loss of this economic engine under Joe Biden’s plan to completely eliminate fossil fuels would set my district—and the rest of energy-producing America—back decades.
Natural gas as a fossil fuel has dramatically improved the quality of life and the economy in areas like my congressional district and across America. Our ability to become energy independent is making our nation stronger.
As a member of Congress, I will not let radical proposals to eliminate fossil fuels set America back, make us weaker, and hinder our growing economy.
Congressman Fred Keller represents the 15 counties of Pennsylvania’s 12th District in central and northeastern Pennsylvania. He was elected to Congress in May 2019.