The national average for a gallon of gas this weekend was $4.84 — with California’s average at $6.32 and my home state of Louisiana at $4.43. President Joe Biden’s Energy Information Administration predicts that national average gas and diesel prices this summer will be the highest since 2014 — under then-Vice President Biden. This isn’t a coincidence, and unfortunately, what we predictedwould happen at the beginning of the Biden administration is already coming true.
Instead of taking action to devise a strategy to address our energy crisis, Biden and Democrats keep unsuccessfully playing the blame game while looking to adversaries for help. They have blamed domestic energy producers while refusing to allow new energy production and have discouraged investment. They have blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin while purchases of Russian oil almost tripled in the first year of the Biden administration. And they have claimed renewables are the only solution while blocking the production of key minerals required for renewable energy technology, leaving our country even more dependent on China. And, at the same time, they have looked for oil deals with Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Venezuela.
The public doesn’t need leaders pointing fingers and looking to dictators to provide critical energy resources for America and our allies. We need leadership that can provide a coherent energy strategy that lowers costs and provides cleaner, secure, and reliable energy to the people and our allies around the world. If Republicans earn back the House majority in the fall, we will be ready to enact that strategy and help ease the suffering of hardworking people’s wallets.
As part of House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy’s “Commitment to America,” House Republicans created seven Republican task forces to identify and develop policy solutions to the problems facing the people. As part of that initiative, the Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force is creating an agenda that is built on the proven success of conservative energy policies, including those that made the United States the world leader in reducing carbon emissions while increasing domestic energy productivity in the first place.
This agenda will help deliver lower energy costs for consumers, create domestic jobs, and provide economic and energy security for families by utilizing our resources and capitalizing on our competitive and technological advantage — not turning to Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and others, as the Biden administration has done. We can do this while also helping to lower global emissions and reduce dependence on foreign adversaries for our energy and resource needs.
Over the coming months, the ECC Task Force will roll out policies in six key areas, including:
- Unlock American resources
- American innovation
- Let America build
- Beat China and Russia
- Conservation with a purpose
- Build resilient communities
The EIA projects that world energy consumption will grow by nearly 50% between 2020 and 2050. In addition, global demand for minerals needed for renewable energy technology is on the rise. We could see demand increase by nearly 500% for graphite, lithium, and cobalt by 2050 to meet the growing demand for these new energy technologies. Who supplies the demand matters.
Biden and Democrats want you to believe that high energy prices are an unavoidable price of a cleaner planet. But the facts are not on their side. In fact, the U.S. led the world in lowering emissions while lowering energy costs for households. This was accomplished by using domestic resources made cheaper by innovation.
And while Democrats might set lofty goals on emissions, U.S. emissions increased by over 6% during Biden’s first year in office. During the Trump administration, emissions decreased an average of 2.5% annually. In addition, Democrats continue to ignore the global aspect of this conversation: For every ton of emissions reduced by the U.S., China increased emissions by nearly four tons, and Russian natural gas exported to Europe has a life cycle emissions profile 41% higher than U.S. liquefied natural gas exported to Europe. We need to produce more, not constrain our resources.
Instead of punishing the public with high prices, reducing consumer choice, or making it harder for people to innovate, we should be exporting our previous model of success to the rest of the world.
We look forward to sharing this agenda with you and to restoring energy leadership.
Rep. Garret Graves is a Republican representing Louisiana’s 6th Congressional District. He also is the lead member of the House Republican Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force.