Energy Security and Environmental Stewardship are not Mutually Exclusive

August 1, 2019

As featured in The Permian Basin Petroleum Association's official magazine, The Permian Basin Oil and Gas Magazine. (August 2019)

For too long, too many people have accepted the assumption that we have to choose between domestic energy production and environmental stewardship. While the Permian Basin Petroleum Association has never accepted this false dilemma, politicians and policy makers have chosen to act as though these were the only paths moving forward.

Thankfully today, more and more Americans are realizing this is not the case.

With record breaking oil and gas production in the Permian Basin, we are still anticipating a decrease in carbon emissions in the United States in 2019 and 2020 as we have seen in a historical trend since at least the year 2000. The abundance of oil and natural gas being produced in the Permian Basin and across the nation has encouraged the transition of energy generation to cleaner burning natural gas and we are now a net exporter of crude oil.

These impacts cannot be understated. With the largest oilfield in the world in West Texas and Southeast New Mexico, the Permian Basin is leading the path to energy security for America and her allies around the globe.

Last week, President Trump discussed this incredible advancement and noted that he “pledged a strong, growing economy and a healthy environment because I believe that we can pursue both at the same time.”

The Permian Basin Petroleum Association agrees. Energy security and environmental protections are not mutually exclusive.

In Texas and New Mexico, PBPA and its member companies work well with our state and federal counterparts to create a better, more secure, energy future while not sacrificing our goal in promoting environmental best practices.

We share President Trump’s belief that “We have only one America. We have only one planet…We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.”

The current administration has also focused on creating greater efficiencies at federal agencies and this have yielded positive results. In particular, member companies have been able to benefit from a consistent regulatory structure and the general public has benefited from substantive enforcement of environmental protections.

Additionally, this engagement with our partners in the federal and state governments has encouraged the industry to develop commercially viable technologies, including the recycling of water, to create more sustainable operations that protect fresh water for communities across energy producing regions and beyond.

We have long argued that the answer to innovation is not government mandates that create restrictions on operators. Rather, the solution is to allow the industry to invest in innovations that can be scaled and used by all operators. This market based economy will allow new or smaller operators to enter the industry and build on these technologies instead of the alternative which is a prohibitive regulatory environment that discourages access and competition.

The Permian Basin and its operators look forward to continuing to produce prosperity for these communities in Texas and New Mexico, and for our nation at large. We recognize the responsibility we have as energy producers and will continue to safely and responsibly develop our natural resources so that families can benefit from affordable, reliable, domestic energy for generations to come.