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VOGEL: Stop Biden’s Inflation by Sending a Republican to Congress

When I talk to the citizens of the 6th Congressional District, the number one complaint is always the same: the Biden Inflation is crippling their household budgets. Working families in Berks and Chester counties are getting crushed by inflation this country hasn’t experienced in 40 years.

March’s annualized inflation rate hit a record 8.5 percent. The median household income in Pennsylvania is $70,000, but adjusting for inflation, these families are taking over a $5,000 pay cut.

The sharpest teeth in inflation’s bite are reserved for lower-income earners. The greatest increases in prices are occurring for gas and food, both of which constitute a larger portion of a family’s expenses with the less they earn. Rent is often the biggest monthly expense for working families, and that has also been increasing at a record pace.

The inflation has two drivers: the cost of oil has doubled since Biden took office and the federal government has accelerated deficit spending, adding $7 trillion in additional debt since COVID. These two factors, coupled with COVID shutdowns and lockdowns, backed by neither science nor common sense, have caused real harm to families across all income levels and especially for those struggling at the lower end.

The solutions are equally apparent. We must undo President Biden’s war on oil production (the only war he seems to be able to win), and we must put an end to wasteful spending.

During the Trump administration, we were an oil exporting nation. Due to Biden’s crackdown on expanding domestic production as well as reducing our refining capacity by shutting down the Keystone XL pipeline, we are more dependent on bad actors in the world like Russia and OPEC and more at risk for the wild price fluctuations that we are experiencing now.

COVID has been used as an excuse by the government not just to shut down businesses and schools, but to dramatically increase spending. We must we end this spree funded by debt that will cause future generations to suffer. We need to make hard choices about reforming the entitlement programs that consume a majority of the budget and are teetering towards bankruptcy.

Not only has our incumbent congresswoman, Chrissy Houlahan, not taken any action to address the macroeconomic issues that have forced a universal pay cut on her constituents, she and others like her, are at the root cause of the problem.

Houlahan voted for the reckless Biden budgets that have poured metaphorical gasoline on the inflationary fire, but she’s also opposed any effort to increase production of real gasoline here in the US.

As your next congressman, I will introduce legislation that expands our production, and I will not vote for any budget that does not contain a significant pathway towards regulatory reform and a massive reduction in spending.

The leftwing media recently suggested that middle-class Americans deal with inflation by cutting back bulk purchases, letting pets die rather than visiting the veterinarian and eating lentils instead of meat. I propose a much easier option: vote out far-left Democrats like Chrissy Houlahan that have brought us here and elect people like myself with a real solution to end inflation and restore the wages of working families here in Pennsylvania and across the country.

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Dr. Oz Holds Town Hall Meeting in West Chester

U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz took Joy Cahaley’s blood pressure during a town hall meeting in West Chester Thursday morning.

“What gets your blood pressure up?” he asked her.

“Politics,” she said, drawing laughter from the audience of about 200 who turned out to hear Oz speak.

Joy Cahaley and Dr. Mehmet Oz

Cahaley says she is frustrated and worried for her kids and granddaughter.

“Everything is so wrong…We have to be able to think for ourselves,” she said, her voice breaking with emotion. “Believe in what we want. Believe in our freedom and our abilities. Or we’re going to be like Ukraine.”

Oz agreed. Ukraine “needs our assistance,” she continued. “Washington, where are you? They need your help.”

“It is emotional for all of us,” Oz replied.

When he travels to foreign countries, people often ask him to “please take care of America.” Oz told the crowd. His reply: “Why do you care?”

And they tell him America’s democracy is an example for their countries to emulate.

“We’re the north star for a lot of the world,” Oz said. “One of my concerns is China because China must destroy us.” The U.S. is democratic and capitalistic while China is “totalitarian, authoritarian.”

Michael Brown and Dr. Oz

“No one is going to choose China. They’re going to choose us.”

Michael Brown, who came to see the TV celebrity, said he is concerned Oz won’t be able to change what happens in Washington. He also worries about an education system where kids who are not athletes or academic stars feel “less than.”

Oz started a program, HealthCorps, to help schools, kids and parents. And when he was on the President’s Council for Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, he found there is a lack of coaches.

Brown agreed that his wrestling coach had been important to him. Oz said his high school football coach was his mentor, who gave him insight into how to be tough and persevere when things got rough.

“It’s come in handy in the operating room when things aren’t going well and they’re looking for leadership,” said Oz. “If you panic, you’re finished — and so is the patient.”

Oz touched on many of his positions during his talk, saying that he is pro-life and had operated on the tiny heart of an unborn baby. He also favors school choice and opposes critical race theory being taught in public schools, explaining that it is drawn from Marxist ideology.

Oz said he decided to run for office after seeing the “authoritarian” way the government handled the COVID pandemic, and how government and “big tech” combined to censor people from expressing differing points of view.

“Our nation is in crisis and it’s not right for me to hide in my (television) studio,” he said. “Which is a nice safe, sequestered place with a lot of people pampering me or to hide in the operating room, which for doctors is a very safe place to be, too, by the way.”

“Not for the patients,” he joked.

“What’s the point if I’m going to watch the world around me, a country I love dearly, what’s the point?” he said. America “did not have to take in my family.” His dad was a Turkish doctor who was recruited to come here in the 1950s when there was a physician shortage, Oz said.

America “gave us an unbelievable opportunity. It’s come time to pay that debt.”

During COVID he learned from doctors in other countries that an inexpensive malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, might work. “And I was so excited. And then President Trump mentioned it,” he said.

“The media hated (Trump) so much that they didn’t want this to work. They rooted against hydroxychloroquine. Even today after two years, we don’t know if it works,” he said.

Oz aid he tried to fund a study of that drug, but former New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo quashed it.

On energy policy, Oz said the “Green New Deal will not work scientifically. Forget about policy. It’s not going to work…And we have to get the natural gas from under our feet, which we have more of than just about anybody on the planet, enough to power our nation for hundreds of years, and start using it. But we have nonpolitical people blocking that…activists prevent energy companies from putting safe and ecological pipelines through New York State to New England with natural gas from us. So guess where New Jersey and New England get their natural gas from? They import it.”

“They get oil from Russia when they don’t have enough, so we’re aiding and abetting our enemies and hurting ourselves, our national security, our energy independence goes away,” he said. “And no one thinks it’s a good idea for our country not to be able to protect itself with energy. Look what happened in Europe. The Germans gave up their nuclear plants because it was the woke thing to do. Now they have no energy. They have to trust the Russians. Bad move. Putin is able to hold them, hostage while invading those poor Ukrainians, who had nothing to do with this.”

Although Oz did not say much about the crisis in Ukraine at his West Chester event, he did discuss it with Fox host Sean Hannity. He described the humanitarian crisis, including children being treated for cancer who are sheltering in hospital basements.

“Putin is this murderous thug and he’s causing all kinds of consequences independent of the ones we’re seeing on TV,” Oz said. “I just don’t understand why we’re importing Russian oil. I do not know why Joe Biden did not bring it up in the State of the Union. It’s one of the reasons Putin feels enabled. He can’t believe his luck.”

Earlier polls showed Oz was the clear leader among the Republican candidates for Senate. However, a Franklin & Marshall poll released Thursday showed the top three candidates within a few points of each other.

Hedge fund manager David McCormick leads at 13 percent, followed by former ambassador Carla Sands at 11 percent, and Oz at 10 percent.

Afterward, Brown said he will support Oz, but Cahaley is uncertain, telling the Delaware Valley Journal she also likes Kathy Barnette.

Kathy Luisi of Tredyffrin said, “I thought (Oz) was excellent.” She is the mother of adopted children and is pro-life. She also liked his support of school choice.

“I was impressed with him,” said Rhonda Holly of Glenmoore. “I like everything I heard.”

Follow us on social media: Twitter: @DV_Journal or Facebook.com/DelawareValleyJournal

YAW: Are We Nuts? American Energy is Key to Undermining Putin’s War

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bloody and unhinged campaign to topple a democratic nation once subjugated by the former Soviet Union has resurrected the threat of global conflict from its deep, dark Cold War-era grave.

It’s easy to paint the invasion of Ukraine as the delusions of a narcissistic despot desperate to cement his legacy as the man who muscled Russia’s way back to the top of the world superpower list. In doing so, we ignore the uncomfortable truth: Putin spent years bolstering Russia’s economy with oil and gas exports, knowing full well the West’s race to renewables left them vulnerable and dependent.

As a natural consequence, any imposed sanctions meant to cripple Russia’s energy sector will reverberate across the globe, cutting countries in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) the deepest.

This is what I, and many others, mean when we say energy independence is a matter of national security. And this is why short-sighted climate policies – like forcing Pennsylvania into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and cancelling natural gas infrastructure, the Keystone XL pipeline chief among them – are so very dangerous. People across the world, not just in Ukraine, will die from the leverage Russia holds over global energy exports.

How much control does Russia have, exactly? The EU is the largest importer of natural gas in the world and 53 percent of their supply came from Russia in 2020 alone. In the United States, about 11 percent of our crude oil imports came from Russia last year – a smaller, albeit significant chunk that will cause financial pain stateside as the war against Ukraine escalates.

Some analysts believe crude oil prices may reach $150 per barrel this summer, up from roughly $50 just two years ago when American energy policy prioritized independence.

President Trump, love him or hate him, cautioned western Europe about the risks of relying on Russian natural gas. Germany ignored those warnings and closed much of its nuclear and coal generation facilities in an effort to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately, Germany now finds itself in a very serious dilemma of failing to recognize the importance of natural gas in its decisions.

Germany isn’t alone in its shortsightedness. Democratic leaders in western nations, acting on behalf of wealthy green energy donors, fail to see the big picture time and time again. It doesn’t matter how many countries signed the Paris Climate Agreement if all of them also allow China to ramp up its emissions over the next decade.

Pollution knows no borders. Renewable energy accounts for less than one third of global energy supply and remains notoriously unreliable. That’s why, in addition to fueling the EU, Russia made a lucrative deal to supply China with 100 million tons of coal.

We can attack Putin’s assets and Russia’s banks all we want, but so long as he’s cornered a sector of the energy market, his imperialist ambitions will not subside.

But all is not lost. The United States can change course. We can ramp up energy production with the same urgency we experienced when manufacturers pivoted to make masks and ventilators at the onset of the pandemic. We can ease Biden-era policies meant to restrict oil and gas production and exports. We can greenlight Keystone and other pipelines. And we can unleash our plentiful gas supply right here in Pennsylvania to help with that mammoth effort.

Pennsylvania, according to the Energy Information Administration, remains number two in natural gas production nationwide and became the largest supplier of electricity in the United States in 2020. In Pennsylvania alone, more than half of households use natural gas to stay warm. Our 49 underground storage sites also remain key to meeting regional demand in winter.

That’s why Gov. Tom Wolf must abandon policies meant to hamstring the industry, like his devotion to RGGI or his alignment with New York on halting infrastructure that could supply New England with cleaner, cheaper Pennsylvania natural gas instead of – you guessed it – Russia’s inferior product.

But Wolf isn’t the only one standing in the way. Our country still bans liquified natural gas (LNG) cargo ships from delivering between domestic ports unless registered in the United States. Of the more than 400 existing LNG carriers, none fly the U.S. flag.

This law, known as the Jones Act, was enacted in 1920 and leaves us entirely dependent on foreign transports to deliver LNG when pipelines aren’t feasible. The same law prevented production facilities in the southern U.S. from delivering to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria ravaged the island in 2017.

Think of how much the world has changed in a century, let alone from just a year or two ago. Where is the logic in buying from a hostile nation instead of adopting policies that make it easier to use what we produce ourselves? Is there any recognition of the common good – or are we just nuts?

Russia has now weaponized its natural gas supply and soon it will squeeze ancillary industries like fertilizer manufacturing and ultimately, food production. If you control the food supply, you control the people. It’s a brutal tactic Russian dictators of decades past know all too well.

Our elected officials must set aside their allegiance to green energy lobbyists and turn up gas production so that we can crush Putin’s war machine without setting a single foot on foreign soil. As a nation that prides itself on its staunch defense of liberty, we must not undermine Ukraine’s fight for freedom by bankrolling their aggressor. And natural gas is the most valuable commodity Russia has – for now.

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Biden Stands By Nominee Who Wants Oil, Gas Biz To ‘Go Bankrupt’

In a newly-uncovered video, President Joe Biden’s nominee to help oversee the nation’s banking system says that if small U.S. oil and gas companies went bankrupt, that would be a good thing.

It’s a suggestion that in the current climate — gasoline prices soaring and some consumers looking at 50 percent hikes in energy costs this winter – may not be such a “good thing” for getting her nomination through a 50-50 Senate.

Saule Omarova, tapped by Biden to run the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, has been embroiled in controversy since her nomination was first announced. While she did hold a minor role in the George W. Bush Treasury Department, her economic resume is nontraditional at best.

While a student at Moscow State University (Moscow, Russia, not Moscow, Idaho) where she was a “V.I. Lenin Personal Academic Scholarship” recipient, Omarova wrote her thesis on “Karl Marx’s Economic Analysis and the Theory of Revolution in The Capital.” Now that she’s been nominated to one of the top financial positions in the administration, Republican senators like Pat Toomey, a Pennsylvania moderate, want her to release a copy as part of the vetting process.

Thus far, she has refused.

“Republicans will overwhelmingly oppose this self-described radical,” Toomey said last month. Professor Omarova “has been celebrated on the far left for promoting ideas she herself has described as radical,” including advocating for “effectively end[ing] banking as we know it.”

Now a video of Omarova addressing the Jain Family Institute’s 2021 Social Wealth Seminar in March has raised new concerns.

“Here what I’m thinking about is primarily coal industry and oil and gas industry,” said Omarova in a video clip unearthed by American Accountability Foundation (AAF). “A lot of the smaller players in that industry are going to probably go bankrupt in short order — at least, we want them to go bankrupt if we want to tackle climate change.”

Omarova went on to say that “we cannot afford” the economic fallout and job losses that would ensue if the U.S. were to bankrupt oil companies. But given her progressive politics — she’s proposed having all private bank deposits go to the federal government in order to “democratize money” — her sentiments are hard for the energy sector to ignore.

“This is ludicrous,” says Dan Weaver, president and executive director of Pennsylvania Independent Oil & Gas Association, a membership organization with businesses large and small, some of them family-owned operations. “That idea is preposterous and sickening, to say the least.”

“This is a reminder that there are opponents of oil and gas who are in high positions or seeking high positions in the Biden administration,” says Dan Kish of the Institute for Energy Research (IEA) and American Energy Alliance (AEA). “I think people see that at the pump. They’ve seen reports that they’re going to pay more this winter.”

The timing of the new revelation is problematic for Biden and his Democratic allies. The White House has taken several high-profile actions to discourage domestic fossil fuel production, even as consumers have been hit with higher gasoline prices and warnings that home heating costs this winter will soar.

The Biden administration even asked OPEC to increase production to help people dealing with high gas and heating oil prices. OPEC declined, leading critics to say the administration should rethink its steps against domestic oil and gas production.

Locally, U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Valerie Arkoosh is calling for a statewide ban on fracking, despite the billions in economic impact from the industry.

“We’ve already seen Keystone XL pipeline workers lose their jobs, we’ve seen people’s businesses and their family budgets hurt by higher gas prices and ultimately that’s the game,” says Kish. “The game is to drive energy costs to skyrocketing levels and make it very difficult for people to use a kind of energy they use in the hopes that they’ll go and use the stuff that they want to use.

“Natural gas generation is leading to a cleaner atmosphere,” added Weaver, pointing to data from EIA. “The science is there, and if we were to ‘bankrupt’ all the oil and gas companies here, where is the energy coming from? What about the thousands of products that we use every day that don’t come from anything other than those feedstocks?”

The White House continues to back the troubled nomination. “Saule Omarova is eminently qualified and was nominated for this role because of her lifetime of work on financial regulation, including in the private sector, in government, and as a leading academic in the field. The White House continues to strongly support her historic nomination,” they said in a statement to Fox News.

And while Toomey has been an outspoken opponent, Pennsylvania’s other senator, Democrat Bob Casey, has been silent.

All things considered, Kish says it does not surprise him that somebody connected to the Biden administration feels this way about oil and gas.

“What surprises me is that she mistakingly said it publicly, or at least in a way that became public,” says Kish. “I don’t think she expected it to become public.”