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WALKER: Energy Bill Will Benefit American Consumers

In response to President Biden’s imprudent cancellation of the last oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic Refuge, the Senate and the House of Representatives have introduced legislation to reverse the decision: America’s Right to Produce Act of 2023.

The area in question is only 8 percent of the 13 million acres on Alaska’s North Slope, a location said to be rich in oil reserves and could yield 10.4 billion barrels of oil. The leases were widely supported by Alaskan natives, stakeholders and lawmakers. And the leases would have brought jobs and revenue to Alaska, not to mention an economic boon to the country. Alaskans aren’t happy about the reversal.

“There is palpable anger and frustration among Alaskans about the Biden administration’s unrelenting assault on our economy and our ability to lawfully access our lands,” said Sen. Dan Sullivan, a Republican.

All activities permitted in the North Slope would incorporate required operating procedures and stipulated restrictions based on the best science and technology to ensure that energy development does not come at the expense of the environment.

But Biden remains committed to his campaign promise to ban new oil and gas leases on public lands, and he continues to bow to environmental groups that want to ban fossil fuels entirely.

Petroleum comprises 36 percent of our total energy consumption; it was 48 percent 50 years ago. Two-thirds of our petroleum fuels 90 percent of our transportation sector. Oil will remain a substantial part of our energy mix for the foreseeable future and is nowhere near being expunged.

As much as the administration is attempting to push us toward 100 percent renewable energy and off fossil fuels, reality tells a different story. Green energy is hitting significant barriers with multiple offshore wind project cancellations, slumping electric vehicle sales and dwindling green energy investments.

Yet, Biden has choked our oil supply by canceling pipelines and restricting land use. The five-year offshore oil plan signed two months ago had the fewest leases since 1992. The three leases Biden permitted, only because he was bound by law, are far from the 47 that former president Donald Trump envisioned.

All this does is inflict pain on consumers. Between high prices at the pump and soaring costs of millions of consumer products largely due to inflated transportation expenses, Americans’ budgets are shrinking while green energy coffers are bulging. High gas prices have a major effect on economic growth and well-being.

Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski, a Republican, correctly noted that Biden even acknowledges his weak five-year plan “will result in higher energy prices.”

Meanwhile, measures like the Inflation Reduction Act are lining the pockets of green energy with taxpayer dollars, further contributing to inflation. We should be doing all we can to unlock the country’s vast reserves of fossil fuels. We need oil now, and we will continue to need it for decades to come.

It is foolish to deprive a nation and its citizens of their primary energy source while trying to get other sources off the ground. Put people before agendas. We have plenty of oil reserves, which continue to increase upon further discovery and exploration.

West Virginia’s Sen. Joe Manchin, a Democrat, said: “It makes no sense at all to actively be limiting our energy production while our adversaries are weaponizing energy around the world.”

We have crippled our economy, jeopardized national security and diminished individual buying power for a climate agenda that likely won’t have any effect on global temperature but has soaked up billions in government subsidies.

The Alaska’s Right to Produce Act of 2023 is a good step forward in restoring energy abundance and providing relief to consumers. It’s time to put America first.

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