Access to Energy

The demand for oil and natural gas is rising fast and, as local officials, you know  it’s not just the cars and trucks on our highways that are fueling this demand.

State and local governments rely on these energy sources to heat and cool their buildings, fuel their auto and truck fleets and power local public works projects.  Local employers rely on these energy sources to keep their business thriving so they can hire more local employees.

Unfortunately, sudden and unexpected increases in energy costs can wipe out established line items in budgets, causing financial hardship and fiscal pain.  Employers are forced to lay off workers.  Police departments decrease their drive time to save gas.  Municipal governments look to cut vital community projects and services. Farmers struggle to foot the bill for the rising costs of fuel and fertilizer, both of which require stable supplies of energy.

Alternative energy resources are an important and necessary step — but they alone won’t help meet rising demand.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration estimates that the world will need an expansion of about 24.5 million barrels of oil per day just to keep up with global economic growth.  Natural gas demand is also expected to increase by 45 percent between now and 2035. 

America is at a crossroads:  we can continue to purchase our oil from foreign partners — many of whom don’t share America’s national interests — or we can start producing more of it at home.

We know that there are enough North American oil and natural gas resources to power 65 million cars for 60 years and heat 60 million households for 160 years

So then why, according to the Institute for Energy Research, did the United States spend $72 billion more on imported oil in 2010 than we did in 2009? 

This increased reliance on foreign sources of oil hurts our energy security, because global crises lead to less reliability and more supply disruptions.  These disruptions lead to rising energy prices.

It also threatens our national security, as many of our Armed Forces are currently deployed in the regions from which we import much of this energy.  

Less North American energy access adds up to less tax revenue for state and local governments.

More North American energy production will lead to greater energy independence, more American jobs and economic growth, and large new revenue sources for state and local governments.