I am a U.S. oil and gas protectionist, an energy independence backer. I want the energy found in this country to stay in this country. I don’t want to hear that oil and gas is coming out of the Gulf of Mexico at a rate that hasn’t been seen in years and that “fracking” is producing oil and gas from on land shale plays that no one would have thought possible a few short years ago, while the price of gas at the pump continues to go up. Now, once we get control of the prices here at home, then we can think about sharing.

My energy/business/geopolitically astute friends say that I don’t understand how these things work. It’s not a simple problem of supply and demand. Yes, but it should be. That’s the problem.

No, no, I’ve got to understand that the massive amounts of oil coming out of North Dakota can’t help me at the pump. Some years ago, you see, the refineries in this country set up to handle a much thicker, denser crude oil and can’t handle this lighter stuff, so let’s sell it and make the money. Good for the oil companies. How does that help me with my electricity bills during the upcoming hot summer?

It’s people like me who are the problem, others say. If I were for building an oil refinery in my town on Lake Pontchartrain, maybe we could be refining some of that lighter crude. I have no one to blame but myself.

Speaking of blame, U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, thinks President Obama should lift the oil export ban in order strengthen our position in the world. “This new domestic energy reality allows us to engage the world in a strong way, and to pursue our national security and foreign policy objectives by economic means,” Murkowski said during a speech she gave recently at the 33rd annual CERA Week in Houston. “Lifting the oil export ban will send a powerful message that America has the resources and the resolve to be the preeminent power in the world.”

I thought we already were, Senator.

By lifting the ban on oil exports, my friends tell me, we can help those poor people in the Ukraine. So, we should send our oil away to prove that we are good world citizens.

This may sound selfish, but instead of making excuse after excuse as to why all this oil and gas coming out of the ground and ocean floor can’t really help the average American Joe and Josephine, why don’t we find a way to make it work?

We can do it, because, Sen. Murkowski, we are the preeminent power in the world.

Ken Hocke has been the senior editor of WorkBoat since 1999. He was the associate editor of WorkBoat from 1997 to 1999. Prior to that, he was the editor of the Daily Shipping Guide, a transportation daily in New Orleans. He has written for other publications including The Times-Picayune. He graduated from Louisiana State University with an arts and sciences degree, with a concentration in English, in 1978.