Abandoned West Coast US Military Bases Eyed for Exporting Coal, Oil Surpluses

During the run-up to the 2016 elections, then-candidate Trump promised that America would end its dependence on foreign countries for oil consumption. U.S. crude oil production now stands at the highest level in history.

As of July, the United States produces more crude oil than Saudi Arabia and ranks as the world’s leader. Before the Trump Administration recognized that the inability to maintain energy independence was a national security issue, American crude production had been in general decline since about 1970. Many Baby Boomers recall the gas shortages during Pres. Jimmy Carter’s tenure.

Although U.S. crude production began to uptick in the early years of the Obama Administration, harsh climate change regulations sent it into another downward spiral by 2015. The Obama Administration began a crackdown on oil despite importing more than 86 percent from countries including Canada, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico among others.

Much of those business and job-killing regulations have been stripped away by President Donald J. Trump. With oil production booming, the president removed a ban on exporting oil. Domestic oil and coal companies are already looking for ways to ship their massive surpluses.

Given that oil outfits have been prevented from selling fossil fuels to countries other than Canada for decades, they are in short supply of infrastructure. The Trump Administration is apparently thinking outside the box for ways to foster the economic growth from the current boom. The administration is taking a strong look at utilizing West Coast military bases as well as other federally-operated facilities and lands to lead the country into what the president is calling “energy dominance.”

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has been tasked with implementing a viable export plan that provides viable options for oil and coal producers that are being blocked by Democrats.

“I respect the state of Washington and Oregon and California,” Interior Sec. Zinke reportedly said. “But also, it’s in our interest for national security and our allies to make sure that they have access to affordable energy commodities.”

Fostering the oil industry as well as the resurgent coal mining operations may require federal support, at least in the short-term. Zinke has only identified a single unused Alaskan military base as a potential resource, but he says underwriting growth may call for the use of “some of our naval facilities, some of our federal facilities on the West Coast.”

Needless to say, “resist” and “obstruct” Democrats are already pushing back against the oil and coal industry gains. Far-left Democrats prefer to halt the oil and coal booms in favor of climate change policies. Asian nations more than doubled their coal purchases from the United States in 2017 and orders continue to surge even higher this year.

Oregon’s Democrat Sen. Ron Wyden showed his opposition for industry growth by saying the president was “disregarding the realities around climate change.”

A reported six export proposals in Washington and Oregon have been rejected over environmental concerns by liberals. None of the objections account for the country’s reliance on foreign governments for oil exports or reduce America’s usage.

The proposed $680 million Longview, Washington, project was summarily rejected for permitting based on climate change notions. The roadblock forced four states to file a federal lawsuit based on a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s commerce clause.

On the other side of the aisle, Republicans such as Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney and Montana Sen. Steve Daines are working closely with Zinke and the Trump Administration to locate and use the necessary facilities to aid the successful American oil and coal booms.

“That might be, for example, retired military facilities or other places where we would be able to use those for exports — frankly, to get around some of the unreasonable obstacles that have been thrown up,” Rep. Cheney reportedly said.

Daines shared her support of the Trump Administration’s willingness to find solutions to Democrats’ commerce-crushing thinking.

“As a Montanan, (Ryan Zinke is) looking for ways here to help these Rocky Mountain states like Montana and Wyoming get access to Asian markets,” Sen. Daines reportedly said.

China, Japan and South Korea have been primary coal consumers. U.S. crude oil production has dramatically increased from about 8.7 million barrels per day at the end of the Obama-era to more than 11 million today. Energy independence and dominance requires export infrastructure.