Writing in the Sunday edition of the Oklahoman, David Le Norman, chairman of the Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma made a renewed call for a federal investigation of the national security implications of what has happened to the oil and gas industry.
Here is his opinion as expressed in the newspaper:
“Oil and natural gas have been Oklahoma’s lifeblood since before statehood. Our state’s natural resources have allowed Oklahoma to grow into the nation’s third-largest gas producer and fourth-largest oil producer. Generations of Oklahomans have prospered thanks to the industry.
All of this is now at risk due to a war on American oil interests precipitated by a market share battle involving Russia, Saudi Arabia and U.S. producers. The result is a world market flooded with more crude than it can handle, causing oil prices to plummet.
These prices stand to decimate Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry — and by extension the government services funded by its tax payments — unless the federal government acts.
It is time for the U.S. Department of Commerce to look into the impact of discounted oil imports into U.S. markets, as requested by Sen. Jim Inhofe, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee. We must protect our national interests from predatory practices, initiated by those who wish to gain an advantage during a global pandemic. Inhofe requested the Secretary of Commerce investigate the national security implications of this unfair grab for market share at the expense of American producers.
A Section 232 investigation will shine a bright light on whether other world producers are selling crude oil below their marginal cost of production, when considering all costs, including transportation. The national security implications of losing our energy independence status, simply stated, would suggest that we would be dependent on foreign sources for our energy needs, which could put our country’s many, varied interests at risk.
It won’t be enough to undo the damage caused by the price war, but it will give Oklahoma producers a fighting chance to overcome another artificial drop in oil prices caused by those seeking to halt the American energy renaissance.
Oklahoma’s oil and natural gas industry has long mirrored our state’s general economy. When the industry struggles, so does Oklahoma.
Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans rely on the oil and natural gas industry for their jobs, accounting for nearly a third of the earned income in the state, according to a report recently published by the Oklahoma Energy Resources Board. Those jobs are at risk as long as the current oil price war continues unabated.
From the royalty owner, to the teacher, to the local diner — all Oklahomans are affected.
Oklahoma’s red earth holds petroleum resources that can help fuel our society for decades to come, but only if there is a fair market for its oil and natural gas. American producers are not asking for a handout, but they do require a level playing field.”
(Le Norman is the founder and managing partner of Reign Capital Holdings LLC and serves as chairman of The Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma.)
Source: The Oklahoman