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Local Experts Work To Bring Oil Production Back To The US

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AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) – A newly purposed initiative may allow the U.S. to use more domestic oil and less of foreign, which will have a great impact on the oil and gas economy.

Imported oil is rapidly increasing and could return the country into the same dependency that began in the late ’70s and lasted until 2010. If Saudi Arabia continues to over-produce oil (like current numbers indicate), the world oversupply will continue. Even though gas and oil prices lower, the supply puts a greater strain on the local workforce, economy, and national security.

Sunday’s OPEC meeting proves Saudi Arabia doesn’t plan on reducing its production of oil anytime soon, but the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative may change that.

“Saudi Arabia and all the Middle East countries met in Doha over the weekend and they have decided that they will not seek a reduction in production from the Middle East, and so what that does is it drives the U.S. oil and gas economy down,” said Judy Stark, Executive Vice President of the Panhandle Producers and Royalty Owners Association (PPROA). “It will allow the U.S. to take control of their own economy. Right now, the Middle East is forcing us to buy their oil and we’re spending about one trillion dollars a year in U.S. money going to back to them when it should remain inside the U.S. to create a better economy. It also puts us in a horrible situation with national security because of the fact that we do not want to have a foreign entity commanding how are economics will go.”

The initiative was started locally and aimed to revive President Dwight Eisenhower’s 1959 quota system, which acted to sustain a healthy oil industry and middle class communities. The previous quota system worked for 14 years, keeping domestic oil from going out of business against foreign imports.

Essentially, the proposed import quotas would stop the U.S. from importing foreign oil and allow for greater control of the oil purchased and resold. Initially, light tight oil imports would be refused, and heavy crude oil import restrictions would follow.

“The import quota proposal is to prevent the termination of the American production of oil and gas,” Dr. Daniel Fine, Creator of the Panhandle Import Reduction Initiative, said. “[There’s] too much oil in the world, especially from OPEC, which is an association of Middle East producers has created a down turn in price and employment and has disrupted American communities in the South west and North Dakota. This initiative is to move to a position where foreign oil is limited, we do not import foreign oil in the quantities that will add new destruction and shut down to protect the American industry.”

Texas alone has lost 77,000 oil and gas related jobs, but local experts believe even though gas prices would increase, it will help bring jobs back to the area and boost the economy.

“It affects consumers in a variety of ways, right now we see situations where banks are struggling, they have loans out that are tied to the oil and gas industry,” Stark said. “You see a reduction of people buying cars and houses. You see defaults on bank loans, housing loans, individual businesses go out in particularly in the smaller regions, the rural communities suffer probably even more than the larger cities.”

According to Stark, most Americans currently depend on the oil and gas industry, so changes must be made to accommodate those who use it until other resources become widely available.

“Right now we have an administration that is not fossil fuel, oil and gas friendly,” Stark said. “They are geared toward climate change, which does not help the economy here either. The general populous of the United States cannot afford to purchase electrical powered cars, they can’t afford to buy natural gas powered cars, so basically what it boils down to is we have to continue on until those alternative fuels build up enough so they will be more sustainable.”

Fine recognizes the initiative will bringing jobs back to the U.S. and boosting the economy, but he said it also help restore national security.

“National security in 1959 was defined as the requirement of a healthy ongoing domestic oil and gas industry, it is connected directly to the industrial base of the United States,” Fine said. “Any vulnerability to supply to that industry, the industrial civilization of the United States is a national security issue. That’s why it’s the highest of our concern, and Eisenhower and his National Security Council recognized that then when it was a Cold War.”

Stark said restoring that security is important because the U.S. doesn’t want to be dependent on other foreign nations.

“We do not want to become dependent on foreign entities, we want to make sure that the U.S. can thrive and survive on what we are capable of doing here and not have a foreign country take us to our knees economically and security wise,” Stark said.

The PPROA encourages the development of alternative energy sources, but supports the initiative because it will give power back to the U.S.

“What we want to do more than anything is we want to secure U.S. jobs, economy, and national security for our people,” Stark said. “So, it’s about making sure that the U.S. doesn’t become dependent on a foreign entity.”

The next step for the initiative is to get state legislatures on board and then the next presidential nominee.

If the initiative is accepted the plan is to have no imports within the first 60 days of the next president’s term.

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