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GUEST VIEW: President Trump has fought for domestic oil; battle is not over - Odessa American: Guest Columns

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GUEST VIEW: President Trump has fought for domestic oil; battle is not over

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Posted: Sunday, July 26, 2020 3:15 am

Later this week, President Donald Trump will arrive in the Permian Basin of West Texas to discuss oil and gas policy. As always, we in Odessa look forward to continuing our conversation with him about how to protect and promote domestic energy resources.

While there is still much more that needs to be done, the good news is that this president has done more than any other recent president to help our industry.

That is why this week, the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC) passed a resolution urging the federal government to investigate excessive dumping of crude oil by Saudi Arabia and Russia. The IOGCC is a multi-state governmental agency that works to ensure a strong domestic energy industry. This resolution was sponsored by Texas Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian and will now go to the Commerce Department for further action.

This resolution is an important step forward in stopping Saudi dumping. But it will take more than a resolution; it will take action from the Trump Administration. And this will be our message to the president when he arrives in Odessa.

Earlier this year, the president took decisive action when he negotiated what has been called an “OPEC +” deal that required Saudi and others to reduce exports by 10 to 15 million barrels a day. This was an unprecedented reduction and represented nearly 15 percent of the global oil supply.

The president is rightly proud of this agreement. Yet like the resolution just passed by the IOGCC, it is a start, not a finish. As the president arrives in Odessa this week, he will visit newly drilled oil production sites, but he will also drive by many other drill sites that have been recently abandoned due to Saudi oil dumping. This cannot continue. Energy independence is too vital to our national economy and our national security. The president recently called for the creation of a foundry in the US to create superchips used in military technology; and he was right to do so. I would argue that energy is even more important to national defense. We believe he should take action to protect our domestic energy industry that is so critical to our national security.

So, when the president arrives in Odessa, we will thank him for all he has done to fight for our industry and our jobs, and we will also ask him to work with us to build on his success and the positive momentum we are starting to see in our industry the last two months. The OPEC + deal expires this summer. A good next step would be extending it again. In fact, why not make it permanent? The president has been strong about stopping Chinese products from being dumped in America; we believe he should be just as strong about stopping Saudi oil from being dumped in America.

After that, we hope the president will support legislation to give the Justice Department authority to investigate the Saudis for oil dumping. And finally, we hope the president will embrace our new “Pledge to Support American Energy.” This pledge was written by the Permian Fuels America Task Force www.ThePermianFuelsAmerica.com and it encourages oil companies and public officials to sign it and commit to take steps to support the production of American oil and gas, including asking our domestic refiners to: use the same or lower percentage of foreign oil intake as they did in the 4th quarter of 2019; to purchase American crude oil in preference to foreign imports when given the opportunity; and to acknowledge that domestic oil production and its workforce are important to American national security.

We hope the president will enjoy his time in Odessa. We hope he knows how much we appreciate what he has done, and we also hope he leaves here with a better sense of the work ahead of us. He is heading us in the right direction; but we still have a long way to go.

Kirk Edwards is a former Odessa city councilman and is the Chairman of the Permian Fuels America Task Force.

Odessa, TX

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