Guest opinion: Domestic energy is essential to American security

If cities were to ban the use of natural gas, what would happen…

Guest opinion: Domestic energy is essential to American security 1
Guest opinion: Domestic energy is essential to American security 2

For 22 years, I served in the United States Navy as a pilot. During my service, I bore witness to severe foreign conflicts over energy sources. One of our greatest accomplishments to strengthen America’s national security has been growing our energy independence. And we have natural gas to thank for that.

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is also a fellow veteran of the U.S. Navy. He understands how critical energy independence is to our nation’s security. And it’s one of many reasons why Governor DeSantis should sign House Bill 919 to protect our access to clean, abundant supplies of domestic energy sources.

House Bill 919 by Rep. Josie Tomkow and Sen. Travis Hutson prevents local governments from banning our access to natural gas.

Natural gas is a clean, efficient, American energy source that is affordable and reliable for Florida residents and businesses. 

Natural gas is America’s most abundant energy source. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), there is enough supply of natural gas to meet the needs of the world for 250 years. Because of the technologies and innovations that have unleashed this abundant supply of domestic energy in recent decades, we have tremendously reduced our dependence on foreign oil.

Natural gas provides nearly one-fourth of North America’s energy today, and more than 97% of the natural gas used in America is produced in North America. According to the non-profit Empowerment Alliance, natural gas has reduced our energy trade deficit by 87%.

Yet, environmental activists want to reverse the progress we’ve made. Across the state and all around the nation, they’re pursuing bans on natural gas.

Currently, more than 700,000 Florida homes rely on natural gas and nearly 70,000 businesses are powered by natural gas. That figure is expected to double during the next 10 years. Florida families and businesses rely on natural gas as a low-cost energy source for cooking, heating water, driving garbage and freight trucks, powering cargo or cruise ships, manufacturing products, and even sending rockets to space. 

If cities were to ban the use of natural gas, what would happen to the 700,000 Florida homes and 70,000 Florida businesses?

At a minimum, we would be left in the dark like millions of people in California were last summer.

Or worse, we would be fighting foreign countries again for energy sources. I’ve personally seen how dangerous that can be. I know Governor DeSantis has witnessed these threats, too.

We shouldn’t allow other countries to have the power to take away something so crucial to our economy and livelihood. With natural gas, and American energy independence, we’re far better off today.

I support House Bill 919, and I ask our great Governor Ron DeSantis to support this measure and sign HB 919 into law.


Commander Tom Garcia is a veteran and former Navy Fighter Pilot. He spent 22 years in the Navy, 9 years on active duty and 13 years in the reserves. Most of his time was spent flying a variety of jets.

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