A Republican bill to reauthorize the Keystone XL pipeline torpedoed by President Biden on his first day in office was derailed by House Democrats this week. When the administration is pleading with Iran and Venezuela to increase production, his party prefers to increase the oil production that is literally under our feet.
The American Energy Independence from Russia Act was blocked from consideration almost entirely on a party-line vote, 221-202. Besides restarting the critical Keystone XL pipeline, the legislation would renew the oil and natural gas leasing program on federal lands that Biden repeatedly shuts down, eliminate restrictions on natural gas exports and protect energy and mineral development.
It would also require the White House to submit to Congress within 30 days an energy security plan detailing steps to increase domestic oil and natural gas production lost by the cutoff of Russian imports.
In other words, common-sense steps to prevent holding out our hats to tyrants and countries for whom “death to America” is a rallying cry. Does the administration believe that energy produced in Iran, Venezuela or Saudi Arabia is cleaner than what we get domestically?
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) correctly accuses Democrats of failing to lead the effort to kickstart energy production and relieve pressure all Americans face from Biden’s runaway inflation, especially at the gas pump. Democrats, McCarthy said after the GOP proposal was blocked from the House floor, chose three times in just two weeks to derail measures that would “unleash American energy.”
Gas prices continue to skyrocket with no end in sight, and analysts say a typical US family faces up to $2,000 in additional costs to fill up the tank this year. Indeed, there is an impact from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but Biden is dead wrong to call it a “Putin price hike” when at every turn he cuts the legs out from under US energy production.
If protecting the climate is genuinely Biden’s goal, isn’t domestic production a far better solution? Especially with the benefit of creating high-paying American jobs?
The US Department of Energy predicts the country will remain a net energy importer even as production at home is stymied over and over by the White House, despite having proven reserves of nearly 40 billion barrels of oil. There is no single good reason why the United States is not energy self-sufficient, except for Democratic opposition to the obvious solution to everyone else.