TELLER: A Step in the Right Direction on Energy
Last year, in a moment that stuck with many Americans, President Joe Biden was asked directly about skyrocketing gas prices and what he planned to do about them. The president remarked, “They’re going to go up. … Can’t do much right now. Russia is responsible.”
The thought that the United States can’t do anything about our energy crisis isn’t just wrong — it’s unacceptable. Americans have suffered from rising energy costs everywhere they turn for two years. Rampant government spending, liberal politics and progressive energy policies have accompanied the worst inflation reports in decades, and America remains dependent on adversaries for oil, gas and critical minerals. There can be little doubt: today, American energy is facing a crisis on all fronts.
This crisis resulted from the administration’s war on American energy. The administration has discouraged energy production through permitting delays, put a stranglehold on oil and gas land lease sales, and implemented a swath of oppressive climate mandates.
On Biden’s watch, America rejoined the disastrous Paris Climate Accord, domestic energy production was stunted by the cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline, and our strategic petroleum reserve was depleted. In less than a year, Biden turned a surplus of American oil and gas into a deficit while doubling the amount of crude oil imports from Russia. Unsurprisingly, excessive spending, burdensome regulations, and woke policies have actively driven record inflation — raising prices for Americans at the grocery store, the gas pump and everywhere in between.
We are seeing the fallout from this failure in leadership in states like New Mexico — rich in natural resources but crippled by nonsensical regulations. Over the last decade, New Mexico’s energy production has skyrocketed. Oil production alone has more than quintupled since 2019; the state now produces almost 60,000 barrels of oil a month, good enough for a nationwide top-three performance in crude oil production.
Despite the dramatic growth in a sector that directly correlates to state revenue, the New Mexico energy industry is under direct attack. State Democratic leadership — marching to the beat set by the Biden administration — seeks to reverse the record-setting gains, creating the paradox of an industry that is simultaneously booming and endangered. Sadly, this phenomenon is a symptom of the root problem: a failure in national leadership that actively disincentivizes energy production and punishes energy producers.
The Republican majority in the House of Representatives recently voted to reverse the damage done and restore American energy leadership when they passed the Lower Energy Costs Act. This critical legislation would put our country back on a path to energy dominance while lowering costs for families nationwide.
The act directly embraces two fundamental goals vital to unleashing American energy while growing the economy: energy security and comprehensive permitting reform. Perhaps most important, this legislation would — for the first time in two years — offer genuine support on the national level for a pro-American energy future. National leadership on energy and permitting reform is as long overdue as it is necessary, and the Lower Energy Costs Act is a bold step in the right direction.
For the last two years, the Biden administration has been presented with opportunity after opportunity to unlock our domestic energy potential and restore America as an energy leader. Instead, Democrats in Congress and the White House have actively disincentivized American energy production at every turn. Thanks to House Republicans, another opportunity has been presented to the Senate and the White House to right this wrong and again put the American people first.
The Lower Energy Costs Act delivers the roadmap to prosperity, and House Republicans promised to put us on that path. Now, it is time for the Senate and the White House to do the same. The energy crisis we face today didn’t develop overnight, nor can it be fixed overnight. Reinvesting in American energy may take time and effort, but the alternative is far more costly.
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