Denice Gary-Pandol

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Energy Independence

Energy security is National Security. Without it, the United States will continue to be strategically vulnerable to America’s adversaries. 

Historically and in modern times, the Fossil Fuel Industry remains foundational to America’s strategic power and military defense. Moreover, it continues to impact the lives of every American. Fossil Fuels have prospered this nation, enhanced America’s economic stability, and furthered America’s foreign policy objectives diplomatically and militarily. It is key to growing our global influence through power diplomacy.

Today as in the last century, 80% of the global economy depends on fossil fuels to power nations and help feed the world. Consider the numerous daily uses of petroleum products, including food fertilizer, to stave off starvation. https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/video-of-the-day-life-without-petroleum-based-products/

Indeed, the security of our food supply depends on oil and natural gas for more than just trucks, planes, and other forms of transport. John Hopkins Center for Livable Future notes, “Of all the innovations in agriculture, arguably none has been more influential than synthetic fertilizers.” It has allowed global food production to keep pace with global population—which between 1900 and 2011 increased from 1.6 billion to 7 billion.” https://context.capp.ca/articles/2020/pirl-fertilizers/.

In point of fact: No amount of wind farms, solar panels, or hydropower can replace reliable fossil fuels in meeting the needs of a U.S. population of 330 million and a global population of nearly eight (8) billion. Exporting U.S. oil and gas should be a priority in today’s world. https://www.heritage.org/coal-oil-natural-gas/event/examining-the-need-fossil-fuels and https://www.manhattan-institute.org/green-energy-revolution-near-impossible

However, President Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom are jeopardizing America’s food supply and security by increasing America’s dependency on hostile nations for any number of commodities, particularly crude oil and natural gas, two of the most critical energy commodities in the world – the basic building blocks of the global economy. 

To maintain its superpower status, U.S. commodities should be produced by Americans in America to avoid being at the mercy of our adversaries. Yet under California’s leadership, our national security is undermined yearly by importing 58.7% of the oil it consumes from foreign sources. California purchases its crude from Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Ecuador, and Colombia, a reality that has tripled in the past 20 years. https://www.energy.ca.gov/data-reports/energy-almanac/californias-petroleum-market/foreign-sources-crude-oil-imports, and https://sacramento.cbslocal.com/2022/03/09/ca-crude-oil-russia-reliance/

So as the Left actively works to increase the vulnerability of U.S. national security interests by importing dirty fossil fuels from the Middle East and South America, even China now looks to export fossil fuels as this Communist nation unlawfully enforces its territorial sovereignty over islands in the South China Seas. In the process, it has laid claim to an “estimated 11 billion barrels of untapped oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas” while also militarizing these islands by “deploying fighter jets, cruise missiles, and radar systems…” https://www.cfr.org/global-conflict-tracker/conflict/territorial-disputes-south-china-sea and https://www.fbi.gov/investigate/counterintelligence/the-china-threat.

These foreign oil imports all constitute national security risks. For example, oil imported from the Middle East must flow through the Strait of Hormuz, the world’s most sensitive oil-transportation choke point and one that the Islamic Republic of Iran has previously closed to U.S. shipping. Closing the Strait of Hormuz would further depress oil supplies and thereby inflate oil prices should Iran decide to weaponize oil against the U.S. once more.  

Despite these realities, California continues to endanger the state and the nation by importing oil from states known for funding terrorists and weaponizing the flow of oil to manipulate U.S. foreign policy, though it has some of the richest oil reserves in the world. 

Moreover, environmentally, of the 1.8 million barrels of oil consumed daily, fewer than 400,000 are cleanly produced in California. So the Left wants clean energy but imports dirty oil. 

Economically, the Democrats refuse to reduce the price of oil and end inflation. They are too busy fighting to destroy the state’s job-creating oil producers and refuse to build needed interstate crude oil transport to meet the ever-increasing demand nationwide. https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/california-says-will-block-crude-oil-from-trump-offshore-drilling-plan

Here in Kern County, we produce 75% of California’s oil. However, while the oil industry provides thousands of local jobs, Leftist regulators make it difficult to fight poverty in my county by hindering the growth of new jobs and more significant economic opportunities. As our Assemblyman Vince Fong points out, “State bureaucrats and opportunistic lawyers have created a nightmare of regulations that invite endless lawsuits, which are most harmful to small business owners who … cannot afford to fight litigation in court.” https://vincefong.com/issues/ 

On a local, state, and federal level, the lives of every American for a prosperous, secure, and environmentally friendly future depends on reliable and affordable energy supplies. https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/issues/energy-environment/ and https://www.aei.org/carpe-diem/video-of-the-day-life-without-petroleum-based-products/ 

As the Biden administration misleads America by contending that oil producers are sitting on 9,000 leases and so are free to drill for more oil, he fails to explain that these leases (most of which were provided during the Trump administration) mean nothing without the required permits to explore and drill on these leases. Blue states and liberal permitting agencies have refused to issue the necessary permits to build roads and pipelines to transport the oil, etc. Furthermore, producers do not see a dime from drilling projects until all the required permits are secured and after years of investing billions in exploration projections. Why would the fossil fuel industry invest in new projects when the Left has informed them that they are in the process of destroying this vital industry?

Meanwhile, the price of oil and liquified natural gas (LNG) and other reliable energy sources have skyrocketed. 

In California, Democrats continue to raise taxes on fuel. The programmed annual gas tax hike occurred on July 1, 2022, with an increase of 5.6%. “That takes the current tax up to 53.9 cents per gallon, a jump of 2.8 cents.” https://www.ktvu.com/news/californias-gas-tax-goes-up-july-1

To further Biden’s national goal of eliminating the fossil fuel industry, he and Democrat legislators are expanding barriers to drilling. The latest is a royalty rate increase (an added tax) of 50% for oil and gas extraction and threats of windfall taxes. https://www.npr.org/2022/04/16/1093195479/biden-federal-oil-leases-royalties

Why foolishly tax the fossil fuel industry out of existence? 

Intelligent innovations by U.S. oil and gas producers have discovered new technological advances to produce carbon-free fossil fuels. They have spent over $170 billion on capital expenditures.

Using good ole American ingenuity, fossil fuel companies have found how to reduce and even prevent carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. They can reach the gold standard for gaining mastery of the climate change debate through carbon-neutral action.

One such means to achieve this is carbon capture and sequestration or carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). This process captures carbon dioxide emissions before they enter the atmosphere and are permanently stored in spots underground. https://www.wspa.org/wp-content/uploads/WSPA_CCUS-Factsheet_v4.pdf and https://www.aeraenergy.com/oil-and-gas-industry-helps-tackle-climate-change/ 

Another method involves reducing the flaring of excess natural gas from oil wells and refineries. Capturing this natural gas can be processed and sold to provide electricity to millions of people, particularly to countries desperate to meet their electrical needs for survival. 

Also, through innovations, carbon capture technologies have introduced a new method by which “captured carbon can be injected underground” to “extract even more crude oil in a process called enhanced oil recovery.” https://www.npr.org/2021/06/08/1002448099/big-oils-transition-3-takeaways-on-how-the-industry-is-and-isnt-going-green 

Only through energy policies that embrace the freedom to promote reliable energy sources without destroying the fossil fuel industry can the United States effectively tackle the vastly exaggerated climate change issue. 

Meanwhile, mainstream climatologists have noted that “if the United States were able to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions immediately, [we should] expect only 0.137 degree Celsius of averted warming …” by the next century. https://www.heritage.org/solutions/#ClimateChange

Data from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s report released in 2019 on greenhouse gas (GHG) showed that between 2018 and 2019, GHG emissions fell by nearly 5%. And according to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler, “President Trump was right to leave the Paris Climate Accords. We have done more to reduce our GHG emissions over the past four years than our international competitors who cling to the ceremonial and arbitrary agreement.” https://www.epa.gov/newsreleases/greenhouse-gas-emissions-continue-decline-american-economy-flourishes-under-trump-0.

Furthermore, Nobel Prize-winning Bjorn Lomborg projects the Paris climate agreement will “keep 11 million more people in poverty come 2030 …” Stringent climate regulations, not fossil fuels, are likely to result in 85,000 deaths due to malnutrition. Lomborg points out: “Economic growth, which allows families to buy more food … is the primary cause driving down malnutrition deaths.” https://www.wsj.com/articles/climate-change-malnutrition-regulation-economic-growth-glasgow-conference-11633551187

Thanks to climate activists, the lack of available fossil fuels is leading the United States and the world into food scarcity. For some nations, starvation has already arrived. Relying on renewables such as wind, water, and solar has caused gas prices, electricity prices, and blackouts to skyrocket, making it hard for many families to buy needed essentials. See The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels, by Alex Epstein. https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/678856/fossil-future-by-alex-epstein/ 

Moreover, consider what the Left is not saying: “Elevated carbon dioxide decreases the adverse effects of higher temperature and drought stress by mitigating oxidative stress …” https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31190116/”pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31190116/ and https://judithcurry.com/2016/04/26/rise-in-co2-has-greened-planet-earth/

What happens when a nation and a state rely on “renewable energy” sources? A power crisis that leads to death.

Californians for Green Nuclear Power legal assistant Gene Nelson states, “The direction that [California] has gone is absolutely contrary to rational grid design … the sun doesn’t always shine, and the amount of time that wind blows is minimal … to make a wind generator work, it can’t just be a gentle breeze; it’s got to be a good stiff breeze to get those turbine blades turning.” https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-golden-state-prepares-for-darkness-as-blackouts-loom_3898709.html 

“If you spend tens of billions of dollars on power that’s only available about 20 percent of the time based on a careful review of production data tabulated by the California Independent System Operator, what other results than rolling blackouts would you expect?” https://www.theepochtimes.com/the-golden-state-prepares-for-darkness-as-blackouts-loom_3898709.html

What happened when Texas relied on wind and solar to power its electric grid? During freezing temperatures, millions of Texans lost electricity in the dead winter. People died. In this modern era, an unprecedented disaster occurred that affected people’s lives and food supplies across state lines because they abandoned their reliable source of electricity – fossil fuels. https://www.theepochtimes.com/texas-power-crisis-highlights-fragility-of-growing-dependency-on-unreliable

The only reliable energy for power systems or electric grids has been natural gas, coal, and nuclear. And note that natural gas and coal can be ramped up or down based on demand. https://www.theepochtimes.com/texas-power-crisis-highlights-fragility-of-growing-dependency-on-unreliable-sources-of-energy-expert

Consider, that even coal is cleaner today! Due to research by the Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL), the United States is leading the world in reducing energy-related carbon emissions.  

“NETL’s research shows that a new coal plant with pollution controls reduces nitrogen oxides by 83 percent, sulfur dioxide by 98 percent, and particulate matter by 99.8 percent compared to plants without controls.” http://www.energy.gov/articles/clean-coal-crucial-american-jobs-energy-security-and-national-supply-chains

THE UNITED STATES MILITARY

The United States military must be prepared for every contingency in light of the aggressive activities of Communist China, Russia, North Korea, and Islamist states such as Iran.

Know that America’s military uses more oil than any other institution in the world. Petroleum products also go into the production of most military equipment. 

However, the military is also a leader in renewable vehicle technology. And while they have been investing in the electrification of vehicles, the problem of rapidly recharging all-electric vehicles lies in the massive amounts of electricity unavailable on the battlefield. 

Recharging is a significant obstacle for electric platforms. Moreover, the accessibility of electrical grids on the front lines of a raging battle is anything but reliable. Furthermore, the logistics of moving about electric generators and then fielding them is very complex. Again, an everchanging front-line in the heat of battle makes fielding them very difficult. https://www.nationaldefensemagazine.org/articles/2021/10/6/electric-for-the-military-still-a-pipedream

On Inflation

As of this writing, inflation is at 9%. It has not been this high since Jimmy Carter’s administration over 40 years ago. https://www.wsj.com/articles/us-inflation-consumer-price-index-march-2022-11649725215 and https://www.foxbusiness.com/politics/inflation-crisis-joe-bidens-vs-jimmy-carter

To end today’s inflation, the result of more demand than actual supply, we must end the Democrat-created energy crisis. Oil production in the United States is still lower than before pre-pandemic levels.

And just like under the Obama administration, U.S. crude oil price topped $80 a barrel as of October 2021. Once more, OPEC and the Saudis hold leverage over United States energy security. These oil-producing countries have kept oil off the market and sent oil prices up over $100 a barrel. This has meant a tax hike for American families. The average American is spending an extra $717 a month because of team Biden’s inflationary policy decisions. https://www.foxbusiness.com/economy/inflation-costing-average-american-717-month-analysis-shows

Finally, fossil fuels remain the dominant source of meeting the growing energy needs in the United States and worldwide. “Green energy cannot fully carry the electric grid’s demand without baseload generation (fossil-fired and nuclear) spinning in the background.” https://www.theepochtimes.com/californias-green-illusion_398593

And America’s unrivaled ability to provide low-cost, reliable energy to billions of people, especially the world’s poorest, is notable. It has brought global poverty to its lowest levels. 

To promote prosperity to protect the poor and America’s working class will require intelligent approaches to the radical climate policy of abandoning fossil fuels.

As your United States Senator, I will work to accomplish the following goals:

Build coalitions in the Senate and the House to pass legislation to secure and protect the fossil fuel industry. It is a vital instrument of national strategic power and political/diplomatic influence. This will further America’s national objectives, better protect Americans at home and abroad, and work to end inflation and restore prosperity to the American people.

Deregulate and legislate new rules to easily permit fossil fuel production, eliminating an unaccountable bureaucracy’s unnecessary bureaucratic red tape. https://www.doi.gov/pressreleases/what-they-are-saying-ceq-issues-proposed-rule-modernize-its-nepa-regulations

Work to make California energy independent. The Golden State once produced 40% of U.S. oil production. We can do it again through legislation and eliminate the importation of dirty foreign oil. https://www.forbes.com/sites/rrapier/2019/03/10/why-the-shale-boom-left-california-behind/?sh=290d9bce44e5.

Work to restore the construction of the Keystone XL Pipeline. It is the safest and cheapest way to transport energy across North America.  Moreover, the Pipeline project would provide 50,000 more jobs and positively impact communities on and off the main line of the Keystone XL Pipeline. President Biden should have never cut this program. 

Support Republican State Treasurers who have informed financial institutions that they will pull their state’s assets if they give in to Federal pressure to de-carbonize and “refuse to lend to or invest in” the fossil fuel industry. See https://www.theepochtimes.com/15-state-treasurers-warn-they-will-pull-assets-from-banks-that-obstruct-the-fossil-fuel-industry_3832285.html?utm_source=ai

Oppose raising taxes on American energy producers. I support Congressman Jodey Arrington’s (R – Texas) letter to oppose raising taxes on U.S. energy producers. https://www.atr.org/rep-arrington-leads-letter-urging-congress-reject-discriminatory-tax-hikes-american-energy/ 

Support Fracking. The 2019 Council of Economic Advisers estimated that fracking and other innovations had reduced energy prices and saved Americans $203 billion or $2,500 each year for a family of four.  

These savings significantly benefit low-income households, who spend a large share of their incomes on energy. Banning or restricting technologies like fracking increases the prices of gasoline, electricity, heating, and air conditioning.

These increases considerably harm senior citizens, middle and lower-income Americans, and others on fixed incomes. “https://trumpwhitehouse.archives.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trump-supporting-hydraulic-fracturing-technologies-protect-jobs-economic-opportunity-national-security/”

ENERGY SECURITY IS NATIONAL SECURITY. Know that I will work diligently to ensure our national security interests and prosper the American people!