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National security takes precedence over energy independence

Marissa Hall | Shale Plays Media

Those who back the oil industry and those who support green energy have one thing in common: many are looking for energy independence for the United States. Don Briggs, president of the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association, wrote last week that energy independence cannot happen without national security. As a nation, we still import a massive amount of oil from OPEC countries, a whopping 55 percent of our net imports for 2012. Growing instability in regions such as the Middle East, from which we import large amounts of our oil, point to a growing need to draw on our own natural resources.

As the oil and natural gas supply increases with each new day here in the United States, it is vital that our federal government and our individual states recognize the importance of free enterprise. Rather than hamper new development and exploration, our nation should be doing everything possible to encourage new oil and gas business. Will oil and gas be the fuel of the future? Authorities on all fronts argue this issue daily. For today, oil and natural gas are the leading fuels that literally power our country. Petroleum products can be found in nearly any item you pick up.

Related: Overregulation may be working against St. Tammany Parish

Need for petroleum products doesn’t just affect the average citizen, either. It plays a massive role in national security.

 What are the tangibles of energy security? For starters, the U.S. Department of Defense relies on petroleum for over 75% of its needs. Another example of energy security is the fact that nearly every farming and manufactured food and household product is made through the use of petroleum. Just as Russia has done with the Ukraine by cutting off natural gas supplies, similarly, if Saudi Arabia decided to diminish their imports to the United States, immediate chaos would be thrown into the U.S. trade market.

Without a much larger energy industry to support paramount organizations such as the U.S. Department of Defense, national security would be put into question. Ultimately, it will be some time before the U.S. will be capable of energy independence without jeopardizing the security of the American people.

Check out Briggs’ full article: A marriage of independence and security

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