What is the most important issue for you as a voter?
Some will say the economy. Others will mention climate change. Many will mention the need for a safer homeland during the War on Terror. While all are critically important, I believe there is one issue that we in Missouri should focus on to help all of those concerns — energy.
We are currently the number one energy producer in the world because so much technological progress has been made in a short amount of time. We’ve reduced oil imports by half — from 53 percent to 23 percent since 2010. We’re at a point now where we can use our energy abundance to supply our allies with both natural gas and oil. By keeping this domestic production momentum going, we become less reliant on adversarial regimes for our energy.
This brings up an important point: Energy security is critical to our national security. More than half of the world’s growing energy demands will be fulfilled with oil and natural gas in the coming decades. Now the United States can become the world’s leading energy supplier while aiding our allies and destabilizing oil-rich volatile regimes that seek to harm us. Additionally, our secure access to energy technologies increases our war-fighter effectiveness and safeguards America’s military strength.
While securing the homeland is critically important, it isn’t the only point to hang our hat on. From a climate change standpoint, nothing has done more to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions than our shift towards cleaner-burning natural gas. This transition has made us the world’s leader in reducing emissions. This fact alone should encourage, not stymie, our national efforts to harness our domestic resources.
By focusing on domestic energy, we have an opportunity to become more economically sound and more environmentally friendly, all while making our homeland a safer place to raise a family. The most important activity we can do as citizens is to make our voices heard at the voting booth. So before you make your choice on March 15th, ask yourself one question: Can this person keep the lights on?
Senator Wayne Wallingford, State Senator 27th District, Chairman of Missouri Vets4Energy