Rizzuto, Ortiz -- America's Energy Dominance Opportunity 
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High energy costs are taking the happy out of the holidays for many Americans and small businesses.

The price of a gallon of gas is up around 50% since President Biden took office. Skyrocketing utility bills are eroding small business profit margins and destroying household budgets. According to a recent survey by LendingTree, one-third of Americans forgo basic expenses to pay their energy bills. These costs are also dampening holiday spending.

The Biden administration’s war on traditional energy is a major cause of this energy cost crisis.

Biden has regulated and opposed every aspect of domestic fossil fuel energy production, from financing to exploration to operation and consumer use. On his first day in office, he stopped the Keystone XL Pipeline. He recently blocked access to hundreds of millions of barrels of oil in Alaska.

These poor policy decisions have resulted in three lost years of energy gains. Under President Trump, the U.S. reached energy independence for the first time since 1949. Yet the Biden administration reversed this progress, threatening this hard-won independence. Recently, the administration announced the nation has only finally returned to the level of domestic crude oil production achieved under Trump.

To bring down energy prices and improve American living standards, the U.S. needs not only energy independence, but energy dominance. We have the resources to eliminate oil imports from foreign countries and produce all the energy we need and more here at home.

By pursuing energy dominance, the U.S. can signal to energy futures markets that new supply will be coming online for the long term, lowering commodity prices and costs for American consumers.

Consider the benefits of the shale oil and gas revolution. In a 2019 report, the Council of Economic Advisers concluded that shale drilling between 2007 and 2019 increased natural gas production by eight times and oil production by 19 times. As a result, the price of natural gas fell by 63%, oil fell by 10%, and electricity fell by 45%.

Americans can enjoy another round of substantial energy savings during this time when they need them most by unleashing copious domestic oil and gas supplies.

American energy dominance will not only bring down energy costs and boost the economy, but it will also help the environment by reducing the need for massively polluting oil tanker ships crisscrossing the ocean. Tankers are one of the most polluting machines on the planet, burning more than 2,600 gallons of extremely dirty fuel per hour, which produces 58,000 pounds of CO2 emissions.

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In 2022, the U.S. the U.S. imported 8.3 million barrels of petroleum per day, including one million barrels a day from the Persian Gulf. According to the Energy Information Administration, a tanker’s one-way trip from Saudi Arabia to the U.S. takes between 32 and 51 days, meaning an average trip will burn around 2.5 million gallons of what is arguably the dirtiest fuel around.

Why do environmental activists who oppose energy development ignore the ecological impact of tankers, container ships, and cruise vessels? Only 15 of the biggest ships produce more sulfur pollution than all the world’s cars combined.

One large container ship emits the same amount of sulfur oxide as 50 million cars. New research concludes that 214 cruise ships emitted four times more sulfur than one billion cars in 2022. Anything we can do to reduce the use of these polluting ships, including producing more energy at home to decrease the need for tankers, will have an outsized impact on emissions.

Under President Trump, the U.S. achieved energy independence while making historic environmental progress. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, between 2017 and 2019, criteria and precursor pollutants fell by 7%, and the number of days with unhealthy air quality for sensitive groups declined by 40%.

By pursuing energy dominance, the U.S. can overcome the energy cost crisis, helping Americans and small businesses have happy holiday seasons and make ends meet in the years to come. We can do this while helping the environment at the same time.

Lee Rizzuto is a former U.S. Consul General to Bermuda, and Alfredo Ortiz is president and CEO of Job Creators Network. 

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