The day after I was elected to the Railroad Commission of Texas, it was announced that the largest find of oil and natural gas in history was assessed in West Texas. In the three years since that announcement, projected totals for this find have continued to grow.
While I was in Houston last week I heard a new projection showing that “the Permian Basin holds more than 230 billion barrels of oil equivalent and within this estimate exists more than 600 trillion cubic feet of remaining natural gas resource.”(1) To put that in perspective, proven oil reserves in the entire United States just ten years ago were 20.6 billion barrels of oil — less than a tenth of what is now projected in West Texas.
The United States is now the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world, producing a record 12.4 million barrels in August. Meanwhile, environmentally, the six major pollutants in America monitored by the EPA have plunged by 73 percent since 1970, while the U.S. economy grew 262 percent and its population by 60 percent.
This is huge news for Texas and America. Because of domestic production, we are no longer reliant on other nations for our energy, giving us a new sense of national security.
This is not the first time Texas energy has had an impact on global dynamics.
In World War I, Eastland County, and the “Roaring Ranger” production was essential to the Allied victory. When the armistice was signed in 1918, a member of the British War Cabinet declared, “The Allied cause floated to victory upon a wave of oil.”
In World War II, seven of the eight billion barrels of oil used to win the war came from the United States.Much of this oil was transported by the Big Inch and Little Inch pipeline from Kilgore from the largest oil field in history at the time. Winston Churchill at the end of the war said that the war was won on a sea of East Texas oil.
Today — Texas once again has the opportunity to make the world a safer and more prosperous place because of the natural resources we have been blessed with underground. The only question is, will we stand up to the extremists on the left that want us to abandon this opportunity and keep it in the ground. Keep this in mind as we approach the 2020 elections.