LANDGRAF: Defending Texas energy

By State Rep. Brooks Landgraf

As your state representative, I must address recent federal actions that threaten our community’s livelihood and the economic foundation of our state. The Biden Administration continues to weaponize the federal government against the West Texas energy sector, and we must respond decisively.

The EPA has signaled its intent to potentially redesignate the Permian Basin as a non-attainment area for ozone. This move would severely hamper oil and gas production in our region by impacting investment opportunities and increasing financial burdens for our energy industry. In other words, this designation would cast a shadow of uncertainty over the future of our energy sector, which is the lifeblood of our local economy.

Recently, I joined Congressman August Pfluger and State Senator Kevin Sparks in meeting with Dr. Earthea Nance, Region 6 Administrator at the EPA, for an oil and gas site visit and producer roundtable in the Permian Basin. During this meeting we emphasized to Dr. Nance the remarkable progress our energy producers have made in reducing emissions while simultaneously increasing production.

The Biden Administration also imposed a temporary pause on pending approvals of Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) exports to countries without a free trade agreement with the United States earlier this year. It is evident that President Biden is willing to use the energy sector as a political football, prioritizing symbolic gestures over pragmatic solutions.

This abrupt halt on new LNG export terminal permits wasn’t just a miscalculation; it’s a reckless gamble with our nation’s economic well-being. By withdrawing from the LNG market, we’re not only undermining our country’s global influence but also effectively handing over the reins of global energy dominance to a Middle Eastern monarchy. This is a severely shortsighted move that puts our national security at risk and leaves our allies, who rely on us for energy security, scrambling for stability.

Curtailing domestic production only empowers foreign regimes with questionable environmental and human rights records. Let it be clear: LNG exports from Texas make the world a cleaner and safer place by providing a reliable energy source to global markets and reducing the influence of countries like Russia and Qatar.

In response to this federal overreach, Texas House Speaker Dade Phelan recently established the House Select Committee on Protecting Texas LNG Exports. I am honored to serve on this committee. We recently held a hearing to scrutinize the legal grounds of the federal action and assess its economic and environmental impacts. Moving forward, we will continue working to identify strategies that will mitigate the adverse effects of this federal overreach on the LNG industry and Texas’s economy.

Despite the hurdles imposed by the Biden Administration, I firmly believe in the resilient spirit of Texas. These federal actions may complicate matters, but they will not extinguish our determination to meet the global demand for oil and natural gas. You can rest assured, I will continue to fight tooth and nail, utilizing every available tool – including my position on the LNG select committee – to advocate for policies that reinforce America’s energy dominance.

As a West Texan and as your state representative proudly representing the hardworking men and women of the oilpatch, I refuse to stand by while the Biden Administration plays Russian roulette with our economic future and global influence.

God bless Texas!