The People of America's Oil and Natural Gas Indusry

Energy Policies Should Help, Not Hurt America’s Resurgence

Mary Leshper

Mary Schaper
Posted January 23, 2014

What The Captain & Tennille Teach Us About Energy Policy

Forbes: Love apparently didn’t keep the ’70s pop duo Captain & Tennille together.Toni Tennille has filed for divorce from Daryl Dragon after 39 years of marriage. Just as the pair’s most famous standard now rings false, so does our 1970′s notion of energy security. For the past 40 years, U.S. energy policy has been married to the idea of scarcity. Following the oil embargoes of the 1970s, we built policies, from export bans to ethanol mandates, based on the idea that we would forever be at the mercy of other oil-producing nations.

The hydraulic fracturing boom, however, has changed all that. North America is undergoing an energy renaissance. Domestic crude oil production has reached parity with imports, and the International Energy Agency predicts the U.S. may become the world’s largest energy producer as early as next year. Yet our policies remain stuck in the dark ages of scarcity. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle are resisting efforts to lift the 1970s-era ban on crude exports, citing issues of “energy security.”

As Sen. Edward Markey, D-Mass., told the Wall Street Journal: “If we overturn decades of law and send our oil to China and other markets, oil companies might make more money per barrel, but it will be American consumers and our national security that will pay the price.”

There’s a difference between ensuring our energy security and hoarding resources. With our newfound abundance, security comes through continued development of domestic reserves.

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Mary Schaper is a Digital Communications Manager for the American Petroleum Institute. She previously worked on Capitol Hill for the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee as Digital Director and for Senator Lisa Murkowski. Before coming to D.C., she spearheaded digital strategy for Murkowski's successful Senate write-in campaign in 2010. Schaper enjoys traveling and taking in the local culture alongside her husband, their son and loyal springer spaniel.