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Congressman Bruce Westerman's Weekly Column

Critical Diesel Shortage

This week, reports from the Energy Information Administration have caused fuel companies to sound the alarm, warning of a dire shortage of diesel in the Southeast. As of October 28, United States has a 25-day supply of diesel in reserves. 

 

Maryland, Virginia, Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee will be impacted by the shortage the most, but rising costs will affect every industry. Diesel is the basic building block of our supply chain. It is a necessity for farmers to grow food and for truck drivers to deliver goods across the country. Without diesel, our supply chain would come to a grinding halt. As a result of the shortage, November delivery prices have surged almost 40%.

 

The Biden Administration says they are keeping a close eye on diesel inventories and are working to boost supplies. House Democrats are asking President Biden to release some of the diesel reserves from the Northeast Home Heating Oil Reserve in New England to bring prices down as we enter the colder months. Simply robbing our reserves over and over again is unsustainable and dangerous. We should never come this close to emptying our reserves because energy security is national security. The U.S. should always have adequate reserves to ensure our energy sector is resilient in the event of an attack or a natural disaster.

 

The Administration is reportedly threatening to cut military aid to Saudi Arabia to punish their decision to reduce oil production. The U.S. should never be held to the mercy of foreign powers like OPEC+ for our energy supply, especially when the U.S. produces energy cleaner and more efficiently than the countries from which President Biden insists on importing oil.

The likelihood of truly running out of diesel is low. Refineries will continue to produce diesel and we will continue to import energy, but prices will rise, further harming American families who are struggling from inflation. 

 

National Economic Council Director Brian Deese acknowledged that diesel levels are “unacceptably low” and all options are on the table to address the situation. The easiest, and most lasting solution that seems to be ignored by the Administration is to boost domestic energy production. Instead of strangling the energy industry in red tape, while simultaneously accusing energy companies of price gouging, President Biden must allow companies to boost production by raising the number of oil leases and expediting permitting.

 

If Republicans take back the House and I become Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, I will ensure U.S. energy independence is addressed as one of Republicans’ first priorities in the new Congress. My bill, the Transparency and Production of American Energy Act, will streamline our energy infrastructure, incentivize innovation, and cut the red tape, and prevent any president from imposing bans on federal energy leasing and mineral withdrawals in the future. One party rule in Washington, D.C. has left our economy in shambles. Enough is enough. It is time to unleash American energy as the first step of healing our economy 

 

11-4-22 11:30 PM KAWX.ORG