Ken Blackwell
Last fall the United States began, for the first time in almost 20 years, to produce more crude oil than it imported. Around that same time, the International Energy Agency altered its previous predictions to show that the U.S. would become the world’s number-one oil producer by 2015, producing 11 million barrels of crude a day. The headlines – and their implications – were hard to miss. American energy was making a comeback in a huge way.

Not only was the U.S. regaining its foothold in world energy markets, things were beginning to look pretty good here at home too. Oil and gas industry jobs increased by 40 percent between 2007 and 2013, a sharp contrast to the three percent job loss in the overall economy. Meanwhile, surging domestic energy production injected $476 billion into the U.S. economy in 2010 alone, filling state and federal coffers with needed revenue.

The economic impact of the U.S. energy renaissance translates into real benefits – especially for low income and middle income Americans. In addition to new jobs and more revenue, American energy production has helped keep our energy prices more stable even in the face of great unrest in the Middle East and other oil producing parts of the world. This is critical for many Americans struggling to make ends meet while also putting gas in their cars and heating their homes.

But progress wouldn’t be progress without at least one billionaire raining on the parade.

America’s domestic energy boom doesn’t sit well with San Francisco-based, former hedge fund billionaire Tom Steyer. Having made a large share of his fortune in foreign coal and oil investments, he now seems to believe that America should abandon oil and natural gas in favor of alternative, and significantly more expensive, forms of energy.

Apparently fossil fuels are okay in his book as long as they’re being developed somewhere other the United States.

Ken Blackwell

Ken Blackwell, a contributing editor at, is a senior fellow at the Family Research Council and the American Civil Rights Union and is on the board of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. He is the co-author of the bestseller The Blueprint: Obama’s Plan to Subvert the Constitution and Build an Imperial Presidency, on sale in bookstores everywhere..
TOWNHALL DAILY: Be the first to read Ken Blackwell's column. Sign up today and receive daily lineup delivered each morning to your inbox.