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Guest Op-Ed: Canary in a Coal Mine

The views expressed in Op-Ed’s published in the Three Forks Voice are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the publication.

Over the past two years, Montanans watched the President's attack on oil, coal and natural gas bring our nation to the brink of an all-out energy emergency.

Gas prices rose to more than $5 a gallon and many Montanans are worried about how to heat their homes without breaking the bank.

We aren't the only country grappling with the effects of a leader who is unrealistic about our nation's domestic energy needs.

Over the course of the last decade, Europe tirelessly pursued a green agenda with the goal of being "climate-neutral" with "net-zero greenhouse gas emissions" by 2050.

The results are devastating. The U.S. and others who choose to go down this road should take a lesson from Europe's folly. Europe is our canary in a coal mine.

Europe's energy crises over the past year make it clear that energy security is national security. When decision-makers start yielding to the whims of the radical green movement, terrible things happen.

Look no further than Germany shutting down its coal and nuclear plants. Remarkably, Germany has over 35 billion tons of accessible coal within their reach and just a few years ago had 17 fully functional nuclear plants, but in 2022 the country was faced with crippling energy shortages and even rolling blackouts.

Families reported seeing their monthly energy bills increase from roughly $150 to over $1,600 and households in rural areas turned to timber as the only way to heat their homes.

In addition, Lithuania went from a net energy exporter to net energy importer. Since shutting down their reliable, baseload power as a misguided condition to satisfy the European Union, the country now consumes three times as much energy as it produces.

Poland saw demand for firewood increase by almost half last year as people scrambled to find a way to heat their homes that wouldn't bankrupt their families.

The U.K.'s pursuit of the green agenda led to sky-high energy prices and brought the nation to the brink of recession.

In addition, Western Europe's dependence on cheap Russian energy in tandem with their decision to abandon reliable domestic energy put entire economies at the brink of collapse.

This should serve as a warning for the havoc the Biden administration and Senate Democrats will wreak on American energy independence if they have their way.

In a meeting with Romania's Prime Minister Nicolae Ciucă, one of the few European leaders to deliver a balanced energy portfolio to his nation, he told me something I will never forget – that a vision without an action plan is a hallucination.

We cannot let President Biden and Senate Democrats push the same green hallucination that has crippled European economies on an unprepared U.S.

During his State of the Union Speech, President Biden said we might need oil for 10 more years.

According to Joe Biden's Department of Energy, over the course of the next 25 years, global energy demand is going to increase 50 percent.

In that same time, petroleum and natural gas will still be the most relied on energy sources in the United States.

Sadly, that hasn't stopped the President from doing everything in his power to undercut our energy security. From shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline to obstructing new drilling projects to draining our Strategic Petroleum Reserve for political purposes, President Biden has paved a path towards an American energy crisis.

I'm a chemical engineer by degree and a big believer in innovation. I support the development of renewable sources of energy. However, our energy policy going forward needs to be about addition, not subtraction.

We need a diverse portfolio of made in America energy that includes renewables like hydropower, wind and solar. We should use them to add capacity, not subtract. But the facts are fossil fuels will remain the most relied upon sources of energy for the next 30 years or more.

We cannot burn the existing bridges of reliable, affordable energy before the new bridges of future energy sources are built.

Thanks to Europe serving as a canary in a coal mine, the signs of a looming energy crisis could not be clearer – it's time to protect American energy security and break free from this radical, green hallucination before it's too late.

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