Republicans blame Biden and Democrats for energy crunch
C ongressional Republicans engaged in a media blitz Wednesday blaming high oil and gas prices on the Biden administration's climate policies and warning that Democrats' budget reconciliation package would worsen matters.
Members of the Senate and House GOP accused President Joe Biden of clipping the domestic fossil fuel industry through executive orders and encouraging U.S. dependence on foreign fuel producers.
"This is an unforced error that we're experiencing right now in regard to prices," Rep. Garret Graves of Louisiana said during an energy roundtable, assigning blame to Biden policies such as his revocation of the Keystone XL pipeline and oil and gas leasing moratorium.
Republicans warned especially about the foreign policy implications raised by U.S. reliance on the global energy market, arguing restrictions on domestic fossil fuel production and the mining of critical minerals give adversaries a leg up.
"They're trying to manipulate markets and force us in a direction of taking on things like solar and wind energy and other renewable sources that, look, have an important role in our energy future, but by manipulating markets the way that you are without having domestic production ... All this does as we've seen in history plays into the hands of Russia and makes us dependent on them for energy because we get it cheaper," Graves said.
"The saddest part about this is, we don't have to rely on somebody else," House Republican Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said. "God blessed this nation with natural resources. We care for them better than any other nation. We do it in an environmentally sound way, but if we do not produce it here, we will still consume it. So, we're harming the environment by consuming it someplace else."
The entire globe is reckoning with high energy prices at the moment, as prices for oil, gas, and coal stand at their highest point in years, and the high energy costs coincide with Democrats' efforts to pass an ambitious budget package aimed at mitigating climate change by reducing reliance on fossil fuels.
The reconciliation package remains under negotiation, and the proposal perhaps most punitive to the fossil fuel industry — the clean electricity payment program — appears dead due to opposition from key vote Sen. Joe Manchin.
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