As average gas prices in the United States top $5 a gallon, and with President Joe Biden planning to meet with Saudi Arabia’s Prince Mohammed Bin Salaman next month, the administration is looking for solutions to America’s rising gas prices. 

However, some say there is a simpler solution to the crisis, and it doesn’t include relying on other countries.

With Texas being the largest oil-producing state in America (with North Dakota and New Mexico following right behind), the issue of rising gas prices could be solved by drilling within the United States.

In a recent interview with Texas Scorecard, Railroad Commission Chairman Wayne Christian said, “People don’t recognize the value of oil and gas to the state of Texas to the free world. I think the horrible events in Ukraine have made it very evident of the power of oil and gas to our entire western society.”

Crude oil and natural gases are some of the most important elements of how we function as a western society. That being said, with all the buzz about the U.S. getting oil from other countries, our country has plenty of oil to sustain us.

According to Visual Capitalist, more than 95 million barrels of oil were produced daily in the United States in 2019. In 2020, about 1.78 billion barrels of oil were produced in the state of Texas. 

Drilling in the U.S. would also create more jobs and revenue. In North Dakota, the state has grown personal income and state economic output rapidly due to development in its oil and gas industry. 

Unfortunately, President Biden canceled the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline in January 2021, which caused many middle-class workers to lose their jobs. It was also reported that the pipeline could have brought up to 500,000 gallons of crude oil, which could help reduce gas prices. 

Currently, the U.S. military spends about $81 billion a year to protect oil supplies around the world, but a study by S&P Global found that drilling oil in the United States would only cost about $100-200 per foot.

As gas prices continue to rise and we continue to look toward other countries for help with our oil endeavor, some legislators have looked at a suspension of the gas tax as a means of temporary relief.

The U.S. as a whole has an average gas tax of 18.4 cents per gallon. In addition to that, the gas tax in the state of Texas is 20 cents per gallon. In 2018, it was estimated that the Texas motor fuel tax brought in about $3.7 billion, with the majority of the revenue the state earns from this tax going toward transportation projects. 

Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, and New York instituted gas tax holidays earlier this year. A poll conducted in March 2022 found that 54 percent of Texas voters would like to see a gas tax holiday.

If the U.S. were to drill domestically and reopen the Keystone XL pipeline, gas prices could be much lower for everyday Americans.

Emily Medeiros

Emily graduated from the University of Oklahoma majoring in Journalism. She is excited to use her research and writing skills to report on important issues around Texas.