America as we know it is perhaps on the brink of ruin. We are borrowing to pay for programs we cannot afford, printing money to pay for our ever increasing debt, devaluing the dollar and with that individual’s life savings, and have become a debtor nation. Our manufacturing industry continues to die a slow painful death and unemployment is widespread. No developing new industry can be seen that would employ a significant number of people. We are paying an enormous financial and human price fighting terrorism, which is funded primarily by oil exporting nations who thrive off our dependence on their oil. In essence, we are simultaneously funding and fighting terrorism at the same time.
Every dollar we send overseas to pay for oil imports is a dollar that is not reinvested here at home. Furthermore, government spending programs to create jobs, stimulate the economy, bailout financial institutions, and protect our environment have failed. To continue on our current course is madness. We must make fundamental changes now if we are to survive.
There is no single answer. However, a solution that would address the aforementioned problems is looming. That solution lies in our abundant supply of natural gas. America is blessed with an over-abundant supply of clean burning, efficient, readily available, inexpensive natural gas. Transitioning from a foreign oil dependent nation to a natural gas powered nation is a solution.
For decades natural gas powered vehicles have operated here and many states and local municipalities use natural gas technology to power vehicles. Power plants and home heating units across the U.S. have used natural gas for decades because natural gas is cleaner, cheaper and much more environmentally friendly than oil. The process of converting to natural gas from oil could create abundant jobs throughout the nation as well, creating thousands of jobs. Yet, unlike government funded and controlled programs that are ill managed and inefficient, these would be permanent, well paying jobs. The moment we begin using more natural gas instead of foreign oil, funding to terrorists diminishes. Furthermore, money spent on the production of this home grown resource would remain here at home, and would be reinvested into our economy.
A nationwide research and development of cars and trucks, service stations, home heating equipment, industrial facilities, etc. would create thousands of new, well paying jobs. Oil used in the manufacture of petrochemicals and petroleum based products could be from domestic production. Finally, tax incentives for natural gas consumers (including industry) would encourage natural gas use. American financier and oil man Boone Pickens has been promoting the development of alternative energy sources such as wind power, coupled with a reduction in government restrictions and tax penalties imposed on domestic producers to encourage domestic drilling. These actions too, would be a boon (no pun intended) to the effort of making America energy independent and economically strong.
Everyone wins under this scenario with the possible exception of the oil exporting nations and worldwide terrorism. The environment wins with the production and burning of cleaner natural gas. The economy wins with increased jobs as infrastructure evolves and reinvestment in cheaper American based energy takes place. National security is a winner as less money is sent to terrorist friendly nations and we become less dependent on foreign oil. Oil prices would be driven down as well as demand would decrease, so the entire oil consuming world would benefit. Even the oil companies win, as they are the natural gas producers. Finally, with lower energy costs consumers would have more money to invest back in to our economy.
These are not new thoughts. Boone Pickens has been preaching this gospel for years warning that if we don’t change things soon our nation may never recover. A grass roots program to change our course must begin now, involving each and every citizen as well as our elected officials. Congress and the White House need to show leadership in this movement. We need to return to a time when statesmanship overrides politics. Our future and our children’s futures depends upon it.
** About the Author: Martin J. Wysocki, has a B.S. and M.S. in Geology from the State University of New York College at Fredonia. For the past 30 years, he has been a petroleum geologist with exploration experience in Texas, New Mexico, Mississippi, and the Shelf and Deep Water Gulf of Mexico. He and his wife currently reside in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia where he is exploring for oil and gas in the deep waters of the South China Sea. Mr. Wysocki is the former president of the Houston Chapter of the Churchill Society, dedicated to philanthropic endeavors and the study of WW2.