Of the top 10 oil-producing states, Republican governors lead five. Democrats, the other five.
Of the top five oil states, it’s three and two, respectively.
Texas is at the top of the list of 32 oil producing states, far above at about 1.7 billion barrels a day, a number well below historical highs.
Alaska is listed fifth at 163,852 barrels a day in 2022. About 10 years ago, it was listed second, and it, too, has seen numbers well beyond the current.
At the federal level, President Joe Biden made it clear at the beginning of his term that he would be siding with anti-oil production interests. He canceled oil projects by executive order.
Meanwhile, he is developing a habit of tapping into the nation’s petroleum reserves in an effort to lower high oil prices at the gas station. He also has pleaded with other nations to supply greater amounts of oil.
Taking oil out of the reserves works like withdrawing from a savings account. Alaska has had recent experience with that. It has depleted its savings. Where to turn for savings after that becomes the billion-dollar question. The answer is currently playing out.
The same is true with “savings” of petroleum. It can be drawn upon, but the oil tank also has a bottom, and once the withdrawals occur, they are repeated more frequently, as Biden has shown, until eventually empty could be reached.
Without sufficient oil, the nation becomes vulnerable to the loss of machines and other items that use or are manufactured using oil.
Even with the clean-air and climate-change arguments against the use of oil, as legitimate as they might be, multiple sources of energy are needed.
As a comparison, Ketchikan’s well-being was at its height when it had three main industries — fishing, timber and tourism —all doing well. If one had a bad season or period, then the others kept the economy and job numbers good.
It takes time to produce energy — whether it is oil, coal, wind or water generated. All should be available. Even if one or another is only in the backup role.
As a result, and knowing the importance of a petroleum reserve and that Americans must be self-supplying, Sen. Dan Sullivan has proposed the ROAR Act. The Replenishing Our American Reserves bill would require that the nation’s strategic petroleum reserve include petroleum products produced in the United States, and that those products can be sold only to domestic buyers.
Sen. Sullivan noted this month when he proposed this legislation that the U.S. strategic oil reserve hasn’t been as low as it is for the past 35 years.
He said that the SPR should be refilled.
This isn’t a Democrat or Republican need. It is necessary for all Americans, whether with or without political affiliations.
Alaska and its industry is capable and beyond willing to provide oil for the United States and its reserve.