(TargetLiberty.org) – Ex-Interior Secretary Ryan Zincke took some time to reflect on former President Donald Trump’s contributions to the oil and gas market earlier this week. In an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller first published on March 23, Zincke touched on his close relationship with the RNC leader and the many times they discussed US energy independence over the years.
Trump Consistently Monitored Numbers
Former Secretary Zincke says Trump remained staunchly committed to reviewing oil and gas industry numbers throughout his time in the White House. He would frequently ask his advisors to present them to him, questioning whether they were on track, and would also inquire about the status of America’s capacity to drill for new oil.
Trump apparently hoped to grow the oil and gas industry here on home soil to a place where it could regularly produce more crude than Russia. Such a feat would make energy independence easier and help America become a significant global oil supplier.
Zincke also said he once presented the idea of US energy independence to Trump. He pointed out America could achieve that goal and go on to eventually dominate the market. The former president agreed, saying he loved the idea.
Statistics Prove Trump’s Efforts Paid Off
The US did become a net exporter of oil under former President Donald Trump. In fact, drilling capacity increased by a total of 3.3 million barrels per day between 2016 and 2019. By the end of that period, the American industry was effectively pumping out almost 1.4 million more barrels per year than Russia — the biggest adjustment in almost 80 years.
It would be inaccurate to grant Trump all of the credit for improvements to the oil and gas industry during his tenure. Other factors, including the overall state of the economy before he stepped into office and global market shifts, did play a partial role in the changes. But the beneficial effects of the former president’s petroleum policies are impossible to ignore.
Trump’s shortlist of notable oil and gas industry achievements run the gamut. He lent support to the idea of drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, despite complaints from irrational environmentalists who were convinced it would lead to an apocalyptic disaster. The former leader also approved the Keystone XL pipeline and refused to back down to Russia’s insistence on building Nord Stream 2.
The core problem? Those beneficial effects didn’t last after Trump left office. President Joe Biden immediately began reversing many of these changes shortly after he took over. He canceled Keystone XL’s permit in January 2021, forcing TC Energy to permanently shutter the project for good. He later revoked leases for Arctic drilling in June.
An offshore drilling project originally intended to set up shop just off of the coast of Mexico might have offset some of these hasty decisions. Unfortunately, Biden’s Interior Department (DOI) decided to fully pause federal offshore and onshore oil and gas leasing instead.
The consequences of those reversals became more and more obvious over time. By February of 2022, the US was on track to become a net importer of oil and gas once again right before it opted to ban imports from Russia. Gas prices skyrocketed, and officials were forced to rely on other foreign sources to replace the deficit once again.
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