In 2019, when the United States became a net total energy exporter for the first time since 1952, Republicans cheered. We cheered because this meant good and steady jobs, lower energy prices, and a stable export industry – all things of great benefit to American citizens.
But in 2020, when President Biden entered office and Democrats controlled both Chambers of Congress, we were forced to warn against several proposals that would reverse our energy independence: blocking pipelines from being built and stopping U.S. energy production on energy-rich federal lands that sit in the vast, remote West. We did this because we feared the very outcomes we are seeing now.
If America were able to produce more energy for our allies, we would have the ability to deprive Vladimir Putin of a major revenue stream. We’d also be able to blunt a global market shock.
All President Biden had to do was nothing.
Instead, we are continuing to send Putin millions of dollars a day in revenue to fund his savage war against Ukraine. In fact, the Biden Administration has increased our daily reliance on Russian oil by 34 percent.
We have to course correct and Republicans offered a new path yesterday. Despite these energy crises, 220 House Democrats blocked consideration of a bill called the American Energy Independence from Russia Act (H.R. 6858) offered by the Ranking Member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05).
The bill is straightforward. It:
- Immediately approves the Keystone XL pipeline
- Removes all restrictions on liquified natural gas (LNG) exports
- Restarts oil and gas leasing on federal lands and waters – which was halted by the Biden administration
- Protects American energy and mineral development from attacks by the Biden administration
- Requires Biden to submit an energy security plan within 30 days and requires the Secretary of Energy to develop a plan to replace oil drawn down from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve
Knowing what we do today, why are Democrats trying to bury America’s chances of being a net total energy exporter, let alone energy independent?
The Democrats’ current energy posture does not bode well for our future. If we were shutting down production and canceling projects before the world was launched into an energy crisis, how can we expect to proactively build anything or secure long-term energy security for our country?
There is more to be done – Republicans don’t want to just return to the success we had a few short years ago, but to build on it. It’s what we should be striving for in every industry and market in America, and Republicans believe Americans have the strength and ability to achieve that.