Today is Earth Day, which is a day commonly claimed by the Left as a day to push their anti-oil and gas rhetoric that has been the rallying cry of climate alarmists for years. What these “environmentalists” fail to recognize is that our domestic energy sector produces cleaner and more environmentally sound energy than anywhere else in the world. American energy jobs are crucial to families and communities around the country, and we must start considering the domestic oil and gas sector as a tool to address global climate concerns while meeting the energy needs of Americans. 

The American energy industry provides jobs for 9.8 million Americans, including many environmental compliance and sustainability related positions. These jobs are honorable, good paying, and sought after. I know firsthand about the kind of work that is created by the oil and gas industry, because my family owns and operates a small energy company in Northwest Pennsylvania. My two brothers are fourth-generation oil field workers, who wake up every morning and go to work alongside my father, who has dedicated his life to fueling America all while working to preserve and protect Pennsylvania’s beautiful natural environment. 

My dad didn’t graduate from high school, yet as a high school dropout he has created a business that provides opportunities for dozens of men and women in a community that desperately needs employers. Our family business, just like the countless other small, independently owned and operated energy producers in Pennsylvania and other resource-rich states, is a pillar of support in our rural county. Without these good-paying jobs, those without a degree, like my dad and brothers, would be hard pressed to build careers that provide for their families and economically flourish. 

The American energy industry, unlike those of countries like Saudi Arabia and Russia, is a beacon of equitable labor standards, sound environmental regulation, and technologically advanced extraction methods. In America, working on a rig or pipeline is a job that allows men and women to advance their lives, buy homes, put food on the table, and money in their savings; while in foreign nations, a job in the same industry puts money directly into the pockets of foreign leaders who do not prioritize the environment or the members of their energy workforce

While the Biden White House calls for radical climate goals, this administration fails to account for the sheer demand for crude oil in America. Whether or not the Left likes it, the numbers speak for themselves. Last year, the United States alone consumed around 19.78 million barrels of petroleum per day. This number is no surprise when you start to break down how important natural resources are to our daily lives. 

When you start your car each morning you are relying upon natural resources. When you apply makeup or put on chapstick, you are using a byproduct of crude oil. Each day, the average person will use dozens of products that are a direct result of the energy industry. Despite the importance of the oil and gas industry and the inherent demand for natural resources, some would rather our energy be extracted in foreign countries and imported, rather than produced right here at home where we have the proper environmental regulations and oversight to ensure that our extraction methods are safer than anywhere else on earth. 

The men and women of the American energy industry are some of the most hardworking individuals I know, they also happen to be proud outdoorsmen and women, with a deep appreciation for the natural environment they live and work in. Growing up around self-described “roughnecks” and “righands” taught me lessons that can’t be found in the walls of a university. They also taught me that preserving the land that provides for families like mine is an essential part of the oil and gas industry. These lessons of hard work, ingenuity, and conservation, embody the importance of our domestic energy industry, one that nearly 10 million Americans rely on to provide for their families and help produce products that make our lives exponentially better. 

This Earth Day, we must prioritize American energy independence, empower the men and women of the domestic oil and gas industry, and ensure that our nation’s energy needs are met with concern and care for the environment.