Rep. Pfluger: OPEC cuts highlight need for US oil

Thu, October 06, 2022

Republished from the Midland Reporter Telegram

Members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and allied nations announced Wednesday they will cut production 2 million barrels a day beginning in November.

Rep. August Pfluger, the San Angelo Republican whose District 11 includes a chunk of the Permian Basin, said the move highlights the need to support domestic oil and natural gas producers.

In a statement provided the Reporter-Telegram, he commented, “Energy is fundamental for our society. President Biden’s crowning policy achievement will be making America more dependent on foreign countries for our energy needs in order to appease Green interest groups. We must refocus on restoring American energy independence. The first step should be ending government-made barriers to oil and gas investment and rolling back regulatory burdens put forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Let’s put Odessa, Texas over OPEC and encourage more American production.”

Asked how he hopes to see US producers incentivized to increase output despite concerns about upsetting OPEC and unleashing another price war, he told the Reporter-Telegram by email, “President Biden has done everything possible through rhetoric and policy to cripple American energy production, hamper investment in future innovation and relinquish global energy dominance to foreign competitors. Republicans are focused on restoring American energy independence. I have introduced legislation to repeal the harmful “natural gas tax” passed by Democrats and ensure American energy producers can permit projects in a timely manner. Congress should vote on this type of legislation instead of blaming American oil and gas companies for a problem they did not create.”

Wayne Christian, chairman of the Railroad Commission, called on President Biden to help unleash domestic production to lower prices for consumers.

“Winter is coming. The US and our European allies need more US oil and gas today – not after midterm election,” Christian said in a statement to the Reporter-Telegram. “OPEC+ and Putin aren’t the answer to our energy security. Harnessing the Permian Basin is. We achieved energy independence under former President Trump in 2019 by increasing U.S. production, and we can do it again.”

Ed Longanecker, president of the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association, told the Reporter-Telegram by email, “OPEC’s oil output cuts make clear once again why it is so important for the U.S. to encourage domestic oil and gas production and to continue exporting our resources into the global market. Without Texas oil, the impact of OPEC’s cuts would be far greater on prices, U.S. consumers and the current energy crisis facing our allies abroad. This year, President Biden implored OPEC to increase production numerous times, while concurrently undercutting domestic production with policies that hinder oil and gas development. It has become painfully evident that we must develop coherent policy to support growing energy demand. Policymakers and this administration must work with the U.S. oil and natural gas industry to support investments in energy infrastructure and domestic production, so we are no longer reliant on OPEC and hostile regimes that use energy as a political weapon.”

Todd Staples, president of the Texas Oil & Gas Association, told the Reporter-Telegram by email, “Today’s announcement by OPEC that they plan to reduce production further underscores that the best way to ensure Americans have access to clean, affordable and reliable energy is to encourage increased production of homegrown, domestic energy that supports jobs, national security, and economic growth, while taking every step to protect the environment.”