In 2016, Mr. Trump challenged minority voters living in the rust belt, “What have you got to lose?”

President Trump freed the carbon-based energy industry from federal regulatory restraints. A boom followed. African American unemployment was the lowest in history. Natural gas-based production surged, and the U.S. became a net exporter of energy. The Middle East oil barons had lost control of the market. Then COVID-19 hit.

Now that the Trump presidency is in our rearview mirror, must we abandon the goal of keeping Americans working and the country energy independent? Must millions of workers experience a self-imposed energy recession if we are shamed into cutting back natural gas?

A safe, nuclear electric energy economy is within reach. Huge credit goes to our own Idaho National Laboratory. Manufacturable, failsafe nuclear reactors are poised to revolutionize America’s energy economy. One might have expected that Democrats would lead this revolution. After all, moving to a nuclear electric economy will require major federal government involvement.

Yet Idaho’s GOP is on board while national Democrats are AWOL. Visions of a Chernobyl nightmare block progress.

The transition to a nuclear electric energy-based economy should be a bipartisan priority.

Who will lead a fight for U.S. energy independence? Democrats? Republicans? Americans who really care about — wait for it — America?

What have we got to lose?

The Biden legacy may hinge on this issue.

Jay B. Gaskill

Idaho Falls