Sen. Dave Schatz’s Legislative Column for April 7, 2022


Sending a Loud Message to Washington, D.C.

It might come as a surprise to some, but the United States produces more oil and natural gas than any other country on the planet. Not only is the oil and natural gas industry an integral part of our economy, but it produces more than 80% of our country’s energy needs. Our abundance of oil and natural gas has provided a level of security that ensures our country has easy access to affordable and reliable energy — unlike other countries that are dependent on others to meet their energy needs.

Despite our status as a world leader in the energy industry, the Russian invasion of Ukraine has demonstrated how one country’s rogue and unjust actions can destabilize our energy industry and force gas prices to skyrocket. Right now, the world is looking for the United States to provide leadership and stability during this crisis, but I fear our current administration is ill-equipped to provide a steady hand during these turbulent times. During his first month in office, our president issued several executive orders that I believe threatened our country’s energy independence. First, he blocked the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a project that had the potential to move more than 830,000 barrels of oil a day from the Canadian oil fields to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico. Second, he issued an order pausing all new oil and natural gas leases on public lands or in offshore waters. From where I stand, these orders and other energy-related actions taken by the president are senseless and endanger our national security.

As a result of the president’s actions, I filed Senate Resolution 626. This legislation urges the president and his administration to take measures and support policies that ensure our country’s energy industry remains stable, secure and reliable. In 2021, Russian products accounted for 8% of all American petroleum imports. I shudder to think how high gas prices would be if we relied on Russia for more of our energy needs. Instead of urging Americans to buy electric cars, the president needs to take tangible steps to unleash the full potential of our country’s oil and gas industry. He needs to reverse his decisions on the Keystone XL pipeline and resume the federal onshore and offshore leasing program. Not only would these actions increase our country’s energy supply, but they would provide countless, good-paying jobs to American workers.

Now, more than ever, our country needs strong leadership and a willingness to put its citizens first — our national security depends on it. Through this resolution, we are calling on the president and his administration to embrace our country’s resources and take the steps necessary to secure and protect our oil and natural gas needs. I fear the consequences of not doing so would be much more severe than high gas prices, and I pray the president heeds our call.

It is an honor to serve our community in the Missouri Senate. If you have any other questions or concerns about your state government, please do not hesitate to contact my office at (573) 751-3678 or by email at — we are honored to serve you.