Opinion: American energy is not just oil and gas

Renewable American Energy - Photo of solar panels and wind turbines

(Jaroslaw Kilian/Getty Images)

By John Skoug

May 17, 2024

In this opinion piece, Osseo resident John Skoug responds to an email update from Representative Derrick Van Orden entitled, “Biden’s War on American Energy.”

This letter is in response to an email update from Representative Derrick Van Orden (WI03) entitled, “Biden’s War on American Energy.” The main argument is to criticize Biden’s policies that have caused “American-made energy” (a term referring to fossil fuels) to suffer. I think most will agree with this statement included in the update, “Americans deserve affordable, reliable energy.” What is unfortunate, is the focus on fossil fuels as being the energy source to achieve that. Our leaders should be supporting a transition away from fossil fuels to a clean energy economy, not one that is solely based on “burning stuff.” We have the technology to make this transition happen, and the Inflation Reduction Act is a significant step to incentivize it, but more policies with bipartisan support are needed. For example, clean energy permitting reform is needed to greatly expand America’s ability to transmit electricity. If our leaders care more about the price of gas today than our sources of power in the future, they risk our future energy independence and our national security. The rest of the world is not standing still, especially China. If Americans resist the transition to renewable energy, or simply fail to act, the rest of the world will soon surpass us–and there will be no market for our excess oil and gas. Unleashing “US energy dominance” in fossil fuels seems important to Rep. Van Orden, a position rooted in the status quo. But why is there no mention of supporting American-made renewable energy (solar, wind, geothermal, nuclear, etc.)? As you contemplate your votes for this November’s elections, ask which politician will support America’s transition to renewable energy. Vote like the planet depends on you, because it does.

Related: Trump vows to reverse climate policies if Big Oil execs give him $1 billion


  • John Skoug

    John Skoug lives in rural Osseo and is a retired scientist, avid gardener and environmental steward. He believes in collective action to address the climate crisis so his grandchildren’s quality of life will be better than his.



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