“The future of a people will be determined by the beliefs they hold and the resources they control.” ~ Jacki Pick
To counter the false publicity attacking America’s energy producers, she interviews leaders from all walks of life; from oil company execs to best-selling authors to Trump advisors. She passionately speaks truth. Her brilliant analysis, tough questions, trustworthiness, and unfailing sense of humor allow her to walk frequently through the corridors of power in our nation. At every opportunity, she offers a reality check.
Jacki Pick is best known for her radio program, The Jacki Daily Show on TheBlaze Radio Network, along with her talent for instantaneously quoting well-researched data. We turned the tables on Jacki recently to interview her for a change. Today, we get to hear the stories Jacki usually saves for her closest friends. As we enter the National Center for Policy Analysis, the influential think tank in Dallas, Texas where she offices, a soft little ball of grey poodle fluff greets us.
Post-interview lunch with Jacki Pick and special guest, Cagney, at Lazy Dog Restaurant.
“Cagney is still grieving because Lacey just passed away,” Jacki explains, petting the tiny dog tenderly. Cagney spends the next hour cuddled in the lap of one of America’s leading experts on the energy sector. Cagney may fall asleep halfway through our meeting, but we ply Jacki with unanswerable questions about what our industry can expect and how we got in this mess in the first place. Surprisingly, unlike many of those predicting our industry’s imminent demise, Jacki has well-reasoned answers.
As a sought-after public speaker, she dazzles audiences with personal stories from the halls of the nation’s Capitol, but today she picks up her pooch and laughs, “I was partially raised by a German Shepherd named Fiddle.”
She grew up in Ohio, surrounded by the natural beauty of the Appalachian foothills. Jacki gets her soft heart for pets from her grandmother. She shares how her grandmother bought chickens one summer so her grandchildren could learn how to grow their own meat. Instead, the chickens turned into pets when Gramma Pick became so attached she couldn’t carry out her plans to serve them for dinner.
“Why am I a conservationist? Because Gramma Pick inculcated me with a love for nature from my childhood,” she laughs. “She made sure I took environmental enrichment classes in the summer.”
Growing up in a mining-based economy, even as a youngster, she was aware that many of life’s blessings came out of the ground because of the hard-working adults in her family. Along with Gramma Pick, Jacki’s upbringing converged to teach her an uncompromising work ethic and a healthy respect for conserving natural resources.
As a young adult, a visit to the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. transformed her thinking about the realities of unchecked government. “What can I do to keep that from happening again,” she asked herself. “It was a totally preventable event,” she argues. As she searched for answers, she discovered that many of the 20th century’s most influential philosophers were focused on the same question. Many were Holocaust survivors or their children. After college she headed to law school, preparing to join the fight for human rights.
“I realized that centralized, unfettered government is the most dangerous entity on earth. Only government could perpetuate a holocaust,” she explains. This led to study of libertarian theory and the Austrian School of Economics.
“I feel like I am doing my show to prevent World War III,” she answers when we ask her what motivates her to do The Jacki Daily Show. It may sound hyperbolic, but she’s not kidding and she backs up her opinion adeptly. “Energy scarcity is a weapon of war and keeps the third world in abject poverty,” she explains, a dding that whoever controls the world’s energy supply has power. She cites the determining role of fuel dominance in both WWI and WWII, nonchalantly quoting research and her extensive reading on the history of all things related to energy, technology, governing powers and philosophies. “Control of natural resources often becomes the impetus for warfare and economic disruption, especially in petro-states. Therefore, when it comes to governance, beliefs become paramount,” she explains.
She cites examples of countries who had more than ample resources but lacked the philosophical under-girding to develop and steward them properly. With the enthusiasm of a prophet, she explains personal accountability as a cultural ethic, for leaders and individual citizens, is crucial to the effective management of a nation’s natural resources.
“History shows that countries with legal and religious institutions based on personal accountability, rather than entitlement or fate, are the most successful,” she says.
As an example of a failed belief system, she references the hoopla over renewables.
“Renewables are not a bad thing, but they are billed as a solution to a problem that the oil and gas industry creates. This false paradigm misleads the public,” she says. She points to the hypocrisy of environmental activists who protest pipelines, but who fail to understand their activism is only possible with the use of fossil fuels.
Referencing the Dakota Access pipeline protests against Energy Transfer Partners, she observes, “All the plastic water bottles, propane tanks, and polyurethane tents… the protesters should have carried signs, ‘This protest brought to you by the fossil fuel producers of America,’” she laughs, emphasizing that American energy producers will get no credit for their contribution to the protests against them. She also emphasized that Energy Transfer Partners completed more than 4,000 meetings with stakeholders, and dotted every “I” and crossed every “T” in the approval process. Jacki believes it is the local tribe’s competing business interest in crude-by-rail that motivates their opposition, a key detail few others in the media have highlighted.
With over 2 million miles of safe pipelines bringing fuel to homes and businesses all across America, she can hardly fathom the thought process of those who protest the latest pipeline.
“The average green activist uses more fossil fuels than Jacki Pick does,” she laughs.
Obviously, what the American energy industry has done so far with messaging is not working, so it’s time to change strategies, according to Jacki.
She spent many years in Washington, D.C. as legal counsel on Capitol Hill to the Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Constitution and the former Ranking Member of the Commercial and Administrative Law Subcommittee, advising on the oversight of federal agencies, according to JackiDaily.com. In those years she developed a growing conviction that fossil fuels determined global stability. She says, based on her experience in Washington, most political issues are not what they appear.
So, who are the winners in the public relations swirling around creating controversy out of pipelines and frac’ing? Certainly not the American public. Instead, she points out that foreign powers who export oil and gas have the most to gain if we fail to expand American production through frac’ing or fail to deliver fossil fuels for American use through pipelines.
“Pipelines are domestic infrastructure that enable North Americans to use more of our own oil and gas rather than being dependent on imports.” She points to the need to retro-fit domestic refineries in order to process more American light sweet crude, rather than being dependent on OPEC nations for imported heavy or sour crude. As we listen to Jacki’s perspective, we note another American industry subject to OPEC whims. Crude is used to create diesel fuel, a prime factor in determining the viability of the American trucking industry, among others.
“In 2015, diesel fuel accounted for about 21% of the petroleum fuels consumed by the U.S. transportation sector,” according to EIA.gov. Along with trucking, diesel is used in barge and train transportation, for city and school buses, to fuel farm and construction equipment, to keep generators functioning at hospitals and civic buildings during power outages, and in military transportation, according to the site.
American shale producers are the worst nightmare of those who oppose individual responsibility, liberty, and a free market. The real heroes in the global energy race are American shale producers, according to Jacki.
With the announcement of a pending IPO for Aramco, the price of oil should stabilize at a higher level, according to Pick. The Saudis are highly motivated to stabilize the price of oil in order to maximize the value of Aramco as it goes public. She expects the Saudis to continue self-limiting production through the IPO. The IPO is a bid for cash to stabilize their faltering ability to shore up their expensive entitlement programs, which have plundered reserve wealth there. But, it’s a risky gamble between shoring up entitlement programs and destabilizing their market share.
“Anything they (OPEC nations) take off the market, American shale producers will add on. Nobody controls or commands American shale producers,” she concludes triumphantly.
Jacki mentions Mexico as a potentially huge importer of American natural gas. She reminds us that Canada is a friendly partner with us. American interests are best served by pipelines, she states, because they allow us freedom to partner with North American nations whose interests and beliefs best mirror ours.
Her theories are supported by current events in the daily news cycle. A battle is raging and there are some gloomy signs on the horizon, too, when it comes to America’s oil. For instance, the recent acquisition of the Port Arthur refinery right here in Texas by Aramco, according to a May 1, article by Matt Egan for CNN, allows the Saudis to wholly control a refinery on our shores.
“Aramco’s deal allows the oil giant to shore up one of its best customers — the US — ahead of next year’s planned IPO. Now that it controls the largest American refinery, Aramco can send more Saudi crude into the US for refining to sell to North American drivers,” according to the article at http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/01/investing/saudi-arabia-buys-largest-oil-refinery-port-arthur/.
“Americans are filling up their tanks. A percentage of that money will end up flowing to the handful of countries who fund terrorism,” Jacki states clearly. “The oil trade is the largest wealth transfer in human history. Some of that wealth transfer is going to countries who permit the genocide of religious and ethnic minorities.” She explains that genocide of minorities happens in countries either deliberately or as a byproduct of the internal fighting over who will control the oil they sell. “We buy it without thinking that it is blood oil; post shale boom, we more often have a choice,” Jacki explains. “Why continue dealing with tyrants when we could be buying our oil and gas from U.S. producers instead?”
She claims that anyone who says it is impossible to gain complete American energy security has a vested interest in the status quo. Take, for instance, the Saudi’s habit of hiring Washington’s best and brightest away from government service to be lobbyists for foreign oil interests. “One of the best things Donald Trump has done is to ban lobbying for a foreign government for life (for anyone in his administration),” she adds, explaining that Trump seems to understand the need to keep qualified people working for America’s interests, rather than foreign powers.
So, what are solutions to the problems facing the energy industry?
Solutions begin with better messaging, says Jacki. The hard-working, daring, patriotic people of the energy sector in America need to start claiming their heroic status. Based on historic victories like WWI and II, American oil and gas producers need to tell the truth about the patriotic value and heritage of American independence and entrepreneurship in our industry.
Modern shale producers are putting up a valiant fight for the world’s market share, often risking personal fortunes in the process, she notes. In doing so, they spread the American values of the free market and individual responsibility around the globe, often tempered with a Biblical perspective on civil rights. That kind of faith in action transforms cultures and raises the standard of living and freedom for anyone who is touched by it. She says the choice is crystal clear: do we use wealth to promote values that honor individual liberty or do we cave in to those who would use wealth in the destruction of our values?
“U.S. energy production is critical to our super power status. It is not to be feared; it is to be defended,” says Jacki. She claims that speaking up to clarify American best interests when it comes to energy production is essential to maintaining stability in the world.
“God gives you talents. Your job is to figure out what the best use of your talents is,” she says, emphasizing that a mission bigger than any one person is at stake, especially when you consider the impact of fossil fuels on the world’s economy.
“Find out what the talent is. Execute the mission,” that’s life according to Jacki Pick.
It is our pleasure to honor Jacki here because we find her to be a courageous, outspoken voice for American best interests. With her determined spirit and clear understanding of the impact of values in the fight against terrorism, she reminds us of John Wayne in the last good Hollywood production depicting the heroism of our industry, Hellfighters. We want to thank her not only for giving so much of her time and insight for this article, but also for continuing the fight to spotlight American Energy Heroes.