Opinion: Texans didn’t vote red or blue — they voted for energy and for their jobs

Thu, November 12, 2020

For all the talk of a purple Texas ahead of the 2020 presidential election, the state remained solidly in the GOP’s pocket. Some blue areas, like the “blue spine” that runs along Interstate 35 from Nuevo Laredo to the Oklahoma border, got bluer between 2018 and 2020, but Republicans still dominated.

Even with 2 million more voters casting ballots, Texas Republicans swept statewide races. Sen. John Cornyn won his reelection bid more than comfortably, and House Republicans all fended off their challengers. Even in open races with retiring Republican incumbents, Republican candidates were victorious. This is all to say that Texas remains red, and boldly so. There are likely a variety of reasons that the Lone Star State continues to be dominated by the GOP, but energy is at the top of the list.

It’s no secret that Texas, a hub for the American oil and gas industry, leads the nation in crude-oil production. With this industry comes 1.8 million jobs in the state of Texas alone. When Joe Biden and Kamala Harris send mixed signals on banning fracking or transitioning from fossil fuels immediately, those employed by the massive Texas oil industry see their livelihoods on the ballot. Asking millions to vote against their jobs is a losing strategy — clearly. No matter what the Biden-Harris ticket meant by comments on fossil fuels, traditional energy workers felt that their very livelihoods were threatened. Extreme environmental messaging has no place in Texas, and it’s hindering real environmental progress.

Banning fracking is not only a nonstarter for Texans, but it’s also not an environmentally-friendly approach; natural gas is far less carbon-intensive than alternatives like coal. The United States was able to lead the world in reducing carbon emissions in no small part thanks to the shale boom. By no means should we forget about renewable energy and emission-reducing technologies, but natural gas is here to stay if we’re serious about not increasing U.S. emissions once again….

Read the full piece at the Houston Chronicle