American energy will help create a better tomorrow

Published 8:42 am Saturday, April 30, 2016

Editorial by Dr. Brian Babin


For the past several years the state of Texas has led the nation in job creation, setting the standard for how American ingenuity, limited government and hard work lead to a healthier and stronger economy.

At $164.6 billion, the chemical industry is the second largest manufacturing industry in Texas – employing over 74,000 Texans directly and another half-a-million indirectly. With an average annual salary of more than $95,000, these are some of the best paying manufacturing jobs in the state. Over the next decade chemical manufacturers are investing over $150 billion in manufacturing facilities across the nation – much of that right here in Southeast Texas.

On April 27th, I joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to highlight the importance of a joint effort being led by chemical manufacturers and labor leaders that seek to ensure the American workforce is properly trained to meet the growing demand of manufacturing jobs.

The availability of cheap natural gas – a critical feedstock for the chemical industry – has been the key to job growth and economic investments. Absent the abundance of cheap natural gas, these new economic opportunities would be severely damaged.

The “do-gooders” in Washington too often have a tendency to undermine success and progress. As has been the case throughout this Administration, the radical environmentalists are winning again as the American worker gets left behind.

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry signed and committed the American people to the United Nation’s Paris Climate Change Agreement. Despite its massive commitment and significant reach, the President has indicated that he will not submit the plan to the U.S. Senate for its advice and consent, which has been the historical norm under the U.S. Constitution.

While liberals in Washington and global bureaucrats at the U.N. hailed the news, American manufacturing workers know that these agreements lead to higher energy costs, a smaller paycheck, and fewer high-paying jobs. And, the biggest un-kept secret is that this U.N. deal will have virtually no meaningful benefit to the planet. It is just another example of the Administration circumventing Congressional objections to avoid the defeat of this job-killing treaty.
In addition to ill-conceived climate deals, the Administration announced last month that it would no longer allow southeast Atlantic states the ability to explore their own offshore energy potential – despite promising otherwise a few years ago.
By turning his back on these states, the Administration has robbed them of the chance to explore their own offshore energy resources and denied them the many economic benefits that come with energy exploration. Thousands of high paying jobs in these states will now be lost.
In 2012 – while facing soaring gas prices – the President proclaimed, “we can’t just drill our way to lower gas prices.” He could not have been more wrong as the U.S. was perfecting and deploying new drilling technologies that unlocked domestic reserves of crude and natural gas. We have now seen crude prices drop from over $100 per barrel to less than $35 a barrel.
We are an exceptional nation and our people are the most innovative and creative on Earth. It is long past time for Washington elites to stop standing in the way so that American innovators and workers can pursue their dreams while building a stronger and more secure economic future for themselves and their children.

Dr. Brian Babin is the U.S. Congressional Representative for the 36th District