At the start of the year, President Joe Biden announced an indefinite ban on liquified natural gas exports (LNG) out of supposed concern for the environment. The U.S., however, is the leading producer of oil and natural gas and also the leading exporter of LNG.

So, ironically, in pausing LNG exports in an effort to reduce emissions, the Biden administration—and the radical environmentalists who pushed for this ban—have cleared the way for another less environmentally conscious actor, like Russia, to take over U.S. market share.

American energy leadership is not only good for our nation, but good for the global environment. 

Rather than continue to wage war on American energy production and push unworkable regulations on everyday Americans, this Earth Day the Biden administration should do the environment a favor by unlocking domestic energy production so the U.S. can continue to be the world leader in responsibly producing oil and gas. 

More than a half century ago, a grassroots movement celebrated the first Earth Day in order to raise awareness of the need to take better care of the environment and the abundant natural resources with which our nation is blessed.

These pioneering environmentalists began a trend of reversing grim statistics about the state of the environment, so I imagine that they would be proud to learn that, over a 20-year period, total gross U.S. emissions decreased by 3%. What might shock them—and contemporary environmentalists—is that this was achieved while U.S. oil and gas production increased and reached historic levels.  

In step with population growth and increased technology use, U.S. energy consumption has increased by 123% since 1960, but domestic energy production has kept pace—increasing by 140% since 1960.

Since 2005 alone, U.S. energy production increased by 48%. This is significant since during the same period, net emissions decreased by 16.6%. Contrary to what many may believe and propagate, oil and gas production doesn’t necessarily result in increased emissions or harms to the environment. 

Results like this are possible in the U.S., but not guaranteed elsewhere. China’s carbon dioxide emissions, for example, increased by 93.9% since 2005.

U.S. energy producers take great care to produce oil and gas in a clean and responsible fashion. American innovation has allowed them to discover new ways to produce more oil, but with less waste and pollution. 

Many of our competitors in the energy market, like China and Russia, take the opposite approach and have little to no regard for the environment, emissions, or the impact on their citizens. So when the U.S. pulls back from a segment of the global energy market, as with Biden’s recent prohibition on LNG exports, less responsible, less environmentally conscious actors step in. 

Instead, to really champion stewardship of the environment and our resources and lower emissions, the U.S. should be the global leader in energy production. Not only would this be good for the environment, but it would be good for our national security and our pocketbooks.

A robust supply of domestic energy protects us from the whims of foreign states who may wish to withhold exports. And a less constrained market would drive down prices for U.S. consumers—something we all desperately need.

When the U.S. leads, good things happen for our country and the world—and in this case, the environment. It is wishful thinking to suppose that simply limiting our own energy production will lead to lower emissions and a healthier environment. Rather, whatever market share we give up is then taken up by someone who almost certainly is less environmentally conscious in how they produce energy. 

If we want to give the Earth a gift this Earth Day, we should build on our successes of the past two decades, which increased energy production while lowering emissions, and unlock domestic energy production so we can responsibly lead the world in energy production.