Iran Persian Gulf Tensions

An Iranian navy boat sprays water to extinguish a fire on an oil tanker in the sea of Oman, Thursday, June 13, 2019. Two oil tankers near the strategic Strait of Hormuz came under a suspected attack Thursday, setting one of them ablaze in the latest mysterious assault targeting vessels in a region crucial to global energy supplies amid heightened tension between Iran and the U.S. (AP Photo/Tasnim News Agency) ORG XMIT: VAH112

The recent attacks on oil tankers in the Persian Gulf — aggressions connected by compelling evidence to the government of Iran — are a reminder of why it’s important for America to be energy independent.

Last December, for the first time in seven decades, the United States exported more oil than it imported. We’ve become more efficient at extracting oil and gas, a big plus in providing America and our trading partners the energy they need. Louisiana, a vital energy corridor, has had a big hand in that, something about which we should rightly be proud.

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The Middle East has always been a precarious place to rely on for energy supplies. We can’t ignore the threats to shipping in that region, since it’s still critical to America’s interests that businesses can conduct commerce there without being terrorized. But the United States is in a much better position to handle its adversaries when it has its own steady supply of energy.

We hope and pray for a calming of tensions between Iran and the United States. Should hostilities require a military response, we know that Louisiana, which has always sent more than its share of warriors into the nation’s armed forces, stands to suffer a higher degree of loss.

That’s a sobering prospect, and we’d like to think the current crisis will blow over. But given the roulette wheel of Middle East politics, one never knows.

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Those uncertainties underscore the wisdom of making American energy independence a national priority — an objective in which Louisiana will, for the foreseeable future, have a big role.