What do you do before the realities of this world? In considering real American wealth and the dollars in our pocket, you have to wonder who the Saudis would elect for our president if they could vote.
The new Saudi Arabian oil minister, Khalid Al-Falih, announced the end of June that his country’s glut on oil production begun in 2014 to drive U.S. shale oil producers, like those in North Dakota and Montana, out of business or greatly reduced, is at an end.
Unsaid is the fact that the Saudis could strike up the competition anytime they want to. After all, they still have the struggle for control of the Mideast with Iran to consider, and Iran is a major oil producer that they can easily hurt.
Meanwhile, you and I have a choice this November on which president to elect who could most likely restore the greatly injured U.S. oil and natural gas industry.
The competition isn’t fair. President Barack Obama has been a failure in protecting U.S. oil. He has chosen to hurt our allies and friends, the Canadians, by blocking their final Keystone oil pipeline from crossing into the United States. He has done nothing to protect the domestic industry apparently in the interest of gaining Arab friends who now talk about rejecting allied interest with us.
I used to talk in this column about two of the larger U.S. companies I knew about, Kinder Morgan and Linn Energy. Linn, a production company by far the smaller of the two with interests in the Hugoton Field in southwest Kansas, is now bankrupt.
Kinder Morgan, the largest of American petroleum pipeline companies has had its stock market evaluation cut in half.
Around the country, in Texas alone, according to Haynes and Boone’s Oil Pach Bankruptcy Monitor, 41 petroleum bankruptcies have occurred representing $24.3 billion in debt.
In addition, 81 North American oil and gas industries have filed for bankruptcy since the start of 2015.
This doesn’t count the billions of dollars lost to other industries as a result. How many Americans lost their jobs?
Russia joined the Saudis in increasing production while the U.S. retreated.
Foreign governments with oil production controlled by centralized dictators have been allowed to wreak destruction with American industry.
Our nation has been in retreat while the Saudis have increased oil sales to China by 4.5 percent and to India by 18 percent. The resulting increased well-being could have been ours.
But current American ambitions are useless unless something changes.
American companies are being left to fend against unfair foreign interests with no effective national government to defend their rights.
As a customer, I might bask in the benefits of such things as reduced gasoline prices, but how many jobs and how many future benefits for my children have I given away for that very temporary benefit?
What can I do about it as one person among millions?
Right now it appears that the best I can do is vote for Donald Trump. He is the only candidate for president who has said he will protect and help the oil industry.
Sometimes he speaks with the voice of a “loose cannon,” and his pronouncements bother me. I hope Trump’s pompous rhetoric won’t affect his real actions.
I actually like his vice presidential choice, Mike Pence, for level-headed thinking better than him.
Hilary Clinton’s main claim to competency appears to be her time as secretary of state and her time with her husband. To me she appears to have been a failure at both.
You are entitled to your own opinions about the election. But please, whatever you do, help save the American oil and gas industry whatever its benefits and whatever its failures.
You owe that much to all of us.
Jerry Engler, who covers the county commission and writes agricultural stories for the Free Press, lives near Marion Reservoir.