Sen. Cruz among dozens pledging to keep natural gas industry strong

By Chris White

Daily Caller News Foundation

Sen. Ted Cruz is among 141 political leaders in a pledge to keep the United States’s energy industry dominant amid the coronavirus pandemic and the consequential economic downturn.

The Texas Republican, as well as seven additional senators, three governors and 15 attorneys general are among those who signed The Empowerment Alliance’s Declaration of Energy Independence, promising to take steps to establishing the United States’s energy independence.

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“American energy producers have ushered in an energy renaissance and made the United States the number one producer of oil and gas in the world,” Cruz said in a joint statement with The Empowerment Alliance. “Maintaining our energy dominance is key to ensuring American families have access to affordable energy and it’s imperative for our national security.”

Other signatories include Republican Sens. Rob Portman of Ohio, John Cornyn of Texas and Joni Ernst of Iowa.

The Daily Caller News Foundation obtained an exclusive copy of the pledge, which says it represents a commitment to “four principles that will help power America’s economy for everyone over the next century and beyond.”

Those principles listed are: affordable energy for families; clean energy for the environment; abundant energy for the future; and domestic energy for national security.

The principles list benefits of energy independence, which include decreasing utility bills, cleaner air, “a continuous 100-year supply of natural gas. They also note that ensuring energy dominance would make certain that the U.S. “is no longer dependent on rapidly changing global markets and unstable or hostile countries.”

The Empowerment Alliance is a nonprofit that was formed in 2019 to oppose supporters of the Green New Deal, a proposal crafted that year that sought to shift the U.S. entirely away from fossil fuels within a decade. Senate Republicans defeated the proposal shortly after it was introduced, but Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats are hoping to bring it back.

“For too long, Americans have spent their hard-earned dollars on energy that is produced overseas, risking our nation’s security and stability and shunning millions of family supporting jobs,” Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry said in the statement alongside Cruz. The Declaration of Energy Independence is “something all Americans can agree on.”

The pledge comes nearly a year after the U.S. first became a net exporter of gas. The U.S. exported roughly 89,000 barrels of fossil fuels per day during September 2019, according to Energy Information Administration data. That’s the first full month the U.S. has exported more than it imported since the U.S. began tracking such data in 1949.

Government officials began locking down their economies in March to slow the spread of a coronavirus, which has killed a reported 127,000 people in the U.S.. Their orders resulted in a significant downturn in the economy and an oversupply of oil, which caused crude prices to collapse. Several shale companies filed bankruptcy to avoid ruin.

“In the midst of the global COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more important to support America’s energy producers to spur economic growth, lower energy costs, help employ thousands of hardworking men and women, and increase America’s energy independence,” Cruz said in the statement.

Empowerment Alliance Executive Director Jim Nathanson added: “Affordable, clean, and abundant domestic energy will be critical to America’s economic recovery. We cannot afford to squander our domestic energy advantage, and we call on all political leaders to join us and embrace natural gas as essential to our shared future prosperity.”

This story originally was published by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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