Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column: Biden Cannot Undermine our Energy Sector Any Further

Biden Cannot Undermine our Energy Sector Any Further

President Biden said last month that he was doing “everything in [his] power” to bring down gas prices, while simultaneously blaming Vladimir Putin for the problem and taking no responsibility for his own part in the crisis. While Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine is certainly contributing to higher energy prices worldwide, the reality is, President Biden’s own reckless policies started the energy crisis well before Russia invaded Ukraine. Cancelling the Keystone XL Pipeline, killing oil and gas leases on federal lands, and, just last week, doubling down on those poor decisions by axing oil and gas lease sales in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, will only worsen domestic supplies and America’s ability to be energy independent. These policies will continue to drive prices in the wrong direction. President Biden has done everything in his power to raise prices on hard-working Americans, and no amount of obfuscating from the White House will hide that truth.


The President’s tone-deaf, destructive pronouncement comes at a time when a gallon of gas averages $4.43 in the U.S., costing American households an extra $2,000 per year. Inflation continues to stand at 8.3% according to this week’s Consumer Price Index report, hovering at a 40-year high. Inflation has quadrupled since Biden took office, resulting in lower real wages for the past 13 straight months. Americans simply cannot afford for President Biden to deliberately undermine our energy sector any further.


In an embarrassingly predictable speech this week, President Biden attempted to blame everyone but himself for a flailing American economy. When asked if he takes any responsibility for inflation, Biden said, “my policies are helping, not hurting,” but his own Treasury Secretary disagrees.  In a recent address, Secretary Janet Yellen said that the Administration’s excessive spending caused an increased demand for goods which has certainly fed inflation. Spending, coupled with poor policy has jeopardized our economy and energy security. President Biden can blame others, but, as he said in the beginning of his Presidency, the buck stops with him. He must answer for the strain felt by every American trying to make ends meet.


Biden’s attack on domestic energy has not done one thing to help the environment or the economy. Instead of efficiently producing our own energy, this Administration would rather beg OPEC+ to meet our energy needs and drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 40%, a level not seen since 1984, in a vain attempt to lower gas prices. Families should not have to choose between groceries or filling their gas tanks. Congressional Republicans have done all we can to push President Biden in the right direction to once again unleash American energy independence and allow gas prices to naturally fall. Sadly, he refuses to listen to reason, the American people, his Treasury Secretary, or the Federal Reserve Chairman who said this week that “the most painful thing would be if we were to fail to deal with [inflation] and inflation were to get entrenched in the economy at high levels.” He may say he has a plan, but Americans haven’t seen it. All we see is a blame game and energy policies that increase prices to satiate far-left environmentalists at the expense of American families.


5-13-22 2:20 p.m. KAWX.ORG