The Biden administration continues to enforce failing policies concerning oil and gas which are now beginning to affect the State of Nebraska. The Biden administration's war against global warming and its war against the use of oil and gas are both misguided and wrong. So, today I would like to explain why this is the case and how it is affecting our state.
President Biden likes to brag how oil production in the U.S. is the same today as it was under Trump. Well, that is not exactly true. At its height under Trump, the U.S. produced 13 million barrels of oil per day which is the same amount that was produced in July 2023, according to the latest U.S. data available. So, Biden is producing as much oil as Trump. However, according to a new study by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, the Biden administration's ant-energy policies of investing only with ESG companies, escalating business taxes, and new regulations on the oil and gas industry have resulted in an estimated loss of some 2 million barrels of oil per day compared to what it would have been under Trump. This loss in oil production results in an annual reduction in GDP of about $100 billion per year.
The situation gets worse. The anti-oil and gas drilling policies of the Biden administration are actually increasing pollution, not decreasing it. Under Trump, the U.S. had become energy independent. To the contrary, in 2022 under the Biden administration the U.S. imported 8.3 million barrels of oil per day from other countries. One million of those barrels came from the Persian Gulf. According to the Energy Information Administration, an oil tanker's one-way trip from Saudi Arabia via the Suez Canal can take anywhere between 31-51 days and burn up to 2.5 million gallons of fuel. Burning that much dirty fuel is a major cause of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
The situation gets even worse. Making matters exponentially worse is the fact that Houthi militants in Yemen have now choked of the entrance to the Suez Canal. As a result, container ships and oil tankers are now being rerouted around the Horn of Africa and around the African continent through Cape Agulhas, making the trip to America significantly longer. Considering that a single container ship can emit four times more sulfur oxide than 50 million cars and in 2022 alone 214 cruise ships emitted four times more sulfur oxide than one billion cars, I believe we can safely conclude that the Biden administration's ant-oil and gas policy has failed to achieve its desired goal of reducing pollution and greenhouse gases.
This kind of twisted thinking about global warming has now come to Nebraska. A research team from the University of Nebraska just received a $5 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to study methane gasses produced by cows. That's right: cattle belching! The goal of the study is to discover new ways to reduce intestinal methane emissions from ruminant animals in an attempt to curb global warming, and it's all part of the Biden administration's 2021 pledge to reduce methane gas emissions.
This kind of study is both misguided as well as a waste of taxpayer monies. Cattle belching plays an insignificant role when it comes to methane gas emissions. When the global warming activists tell you that cattle belching is responsible for 14-18 percent of all methane gas emissions, what they are hiding is the fact that transportation costs are included in their calculations. Exhaust fumes from trucks and machinery, which account for 28 percent of all greenhouse gas emissions are rolled into those numbers. So, cattle belching is not the real culprit.
When Frank Mitloehner, a professor of animal science at the University of California Davis, was asked about bovine belching, he admitted that cows were not the real culprit. Mitloehner said, "For those who say cows contribute the most greenhouse gas emissions, that's simply not true." Mitloehner went on to explain that the use of fossil fuels for transportation is a much bigger problem.
So, the bottom line is that researchers at UNL will soon be using your hard-earned tax dollars to study a problem that doesn't really exist. It seems to me that UNL researchers need to figure out what the real issues are and what they should be working on. I can't wait to see their recommendation on how we are supposed to prevent methane gas coming from cows. Happy New Year!