Relying on oil imports exposes us to political tensions, leading to price fluctuations that impact American consumers and businesses. This dependence undermines our national strength and leaves us vulnerable to foreign powers.

When we rely on foreign oil, we surrender control over our energy security. Political tensions in oil-rich regions can disrupt the global oil market, leading to price fluctuations that affect American consumers and businesses. This dependence undermines our national strength and leaves us at the mercy of foreign powers.

At the end of 2022, OPEC+ (The Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries – which include Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Russia, Libya, Venezuela, and others) cut oil production by more than 2 million barrel per day (bpd), bringing today’s total cut to 3.66 million bpd. “Biden has limited options to respond to OPEC+’s oil cut,” reported Bloomberg News.

Then again, this year, OPEC+ cut some more. The Biden Administration criticized the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries+ decision to cut additional oil production, saying it could lead to higher gas prices and hurt low and middle-income families. And yet, some California politicians are following the same playbook at OPEC.

For example, importing oil disregards the stringent regulations and environmental standards upheld by California producers. This results in increased pollution, ecological damage, and negative impacts on the air we breathe and the water we depend on.

The Los Angeles Times Editorial Board reported:

“At the Port of L.A., cancer-causing diesel particulate matter rose 56%, smog-forming nitrogen oxides jumped 54%, and greenhouse gas emissions increased 39% compared with 2020 levels. At the Port of Long Beach, diesel particulate matter increased by 42%, nitrogen oxide emissions were up 35%, and greenhouse gases rose by 35%.

“These figures should be a wake-up call to local, state, and federal officials who all bear some responsibility for the failure to protect people’s health and prevent a damaging increase in smog-forming and planet-warming pollution over the past many years.”

In another editorial, the Los Angeles Times board wrote: Port ships are one of Southern California’s largest sources of smog-causing pollutants.

“The South Coast Air Quality Management District projects that by 2023 oceangoing ships will surpass heavy-duty diesel trucks to become Southern California’s largest source of smog-forming nitrogen oxide pollution. Governor Newsom’s actions exacerbate this problem.

“Ships alone pump smog-forming nitrogen oxides into the air each day – the equivalent of adding 5.8 million passenger cars— while adding as much lung-damaging diesel particulate matter as nearly 100,000 big rig trucks.”

To protect America’s strength and the health of our communities, we must strive for energy independence. Reducing reliance on foreign oil can bolster our national security, stabilize our economy, and preserve the environment for future generations.

“Investing in domestic energy production, such as supporting responsible oil and gas extraction, is crucial to achieving energy independence. This approach will create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and ensure that our energy resources are developed under the highest environmental standards,” said Rock Zierman, Chief Executive Officer of the California Independent Petroleum Association.

Energy independence is not just an economic and environmental concern; it is crucial for national security and the well-being of our communities. It’s time to recognize the dangers of foreign oil dependency and work towards a future where America stands strong, our economy thrives, and our communities flourish in a sustainable and secure energy landscape.