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GUEST COLUMN: Energy independence is not a pipe-dream

By: Don P. Loren
August 1, 2016 Updated: August 1, 2016 at 11:51 am
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Energy policy is a stark determinant of national security and economic security. Our nation is the single-largest consumer of energy on the planet, and for good reason. We have a nation and allies to defend, cities to power, people to feed, goods to manufacture and transport, and information to process. So to keep up with demand, we make choices. We import much of our energy from volatile regimes that do not necessarily have America's best interests in mind. This causes serious issues for our national security and is an unnecessary drain on our economy.

There are many who believe that we should only invest in wind and solar energy. While an admirable undertaking, contemporary technology in renewables cannot meet the power demands of our $20 trillion economy nor is this achievable in the foreseeable future.

Allow me to offer an alternative from the status quo: Instead of importing energy from human rights abusers such as Venezuela and Yemen let's strive to establish the strategic goal to produce all the energy we need here at home. Simply put, All American Energy for all America.

We have abundant reserves of oil and natural gas in America. While unthinkable just a few years ago, the United States has become the leading producer of oil and natural gas, surpassing both Russia and Saudi Arabia. Colorado has been blessed with abundant energy reserves yet, and incomprehensible to this veteran and student of national security, there are many that would like the state to abrogate its responsibility to contribute to the nation's energy strategy.

Energy security is a national effort and every state with the resources has an obligation to contribute. Failing to do is shortsighted, dangerous and exposes the thousands of men and women who wear the cloth of the nation and protect the country in harm's way.

Investing in the production of oil and natural gas, while concomitantly developing our renewable energy sector, will put us on a path to energy self-sufficiency, and will lead to an economically strong America by creating good-paying jobs, building and repairing the nation's infrastructure, promoting economic growth and producing much-needed tax revenue to assist our cities when they need it most.

Energy independence is not a pipe-dream, rather it's a strategic national security goal within our grasp and within the capabilities of American ingenuity. Colorado must be part of the national team that achieves that goal. It is a matter of national security and national priorities as well as our future.

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Retired Navy Rear Adm. Don P. Loren is the national liaison for Vets4Energy.

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