The Time Is Now for U.S. Energy Independence | Citizens Against Government Waste

The Time Is Now for U.S. Energy Independence

The WasteWatcher

Energy costs are now a hot topic from the dinner table to the corner store to online discussions to elected officials in Washington, D.C. and the states.  As the Russian invasion of Ukraine continues, and inflation in the U.S. soars, the cost of oil and gas are likely to remain at the center of attention.

Solutions have ranged from President Biden’s dismissal of responsibility and comments from the secretaries of transportation and energy to just buy an electric car, to the temporary suspension of state gas taxes in Georgia and Maryland, with other states considering the same action.  Indeed, the entire administration, particularly energy “czar” John Kerry, along with progressive members of Congress, see recent events as an opportunity to double down and lecture the American people on why fossil fuels should be eliminated in favor of “clean” energy sources. 

While the President’s executive order on his first day in office to kill the Keystone XL pipeline would not have resulted in the release of oil right now, the pipeline would have created 11,000 jobs and transported 830,000 barrels of crude oil each day from Alberta, Canada, to Nebraska. 

It also would have instilled confidence that the U.S. would remain energy independent, which it was under President Trump. Instead, President Biden has been cozying up to Iran and Venezuela to see if those countries can increase oil imports to the U.S., and had to be pushed hard by members of Congress from both sides of the aisle to stop buying oil from Russia until on March 8, 2022, when he signed an executive order banning imports of Russian oil, liquified natural gas, and coal.

Today, the national average price for regular gas is $4.25, up by $1.37, or 48 percent, from $2.88 one year ago.  While President Biden and his team are blaming Russian President Putin, Americans are not falling for this ploy and know well that the stricter policies on oil and gas that have been in place since the beginning of the administration are making it harder to produce domestic oil and are the most direct cause of the higher prices Americans are seeing at the pump. While gas prices are the most visible result of higher oil prices, the cost of all other goods made with petroleum have also risen.  Some industries are hit harder than others, but higher costs everywhere will be passed on to consumers. Food costs have increased substantially and may get even worse since wheat is a major export of both Ukraine and Russia. In the U.S., farm expenses will reach $16 billion in 2022, a 35 percent increase from 2021.  All higher costs caused by inflation disproportionately hurt lower-income families.

The American people have spoken and Biden’s approval rating has dropped significantly with 70 percent of Americans disapproving of how the President is handling gas prices, and 63 percent want to increase oil production as prices rise.

House Energy and Commerce Republicans have urged President Biden to boost American energy production. On March 18, 2022, Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.) spoke on the House floor, “Energy is foundational to everything we do… With an all-the-above strategy, we can again say ‘yes’ to America’s global leadership and lower energy prices. I continue to urge my colleagues across the aisle to work with us. Let’s flip the switch on American energy to ensure a better life and more secure future for all.”

When the government restricts supply through strict regulations that limit production, prices increase.  But President Biden and congressional Democrats would rather watch the country suffer in the name of virtue signaling and clean energy, which cannot happen overnight, telling them to just go and buy electric cars.  The U.S. is not using less oil, but instead the supply is now more dependent on foreign countries and subject to geopolitical obstacles.

The need for U.S. energy independence is more critical now than ever, and until technological advancements are made, the idea that the country will run entirely on solar and electric energy is a pipedream.  Even Elon Musk, co-founder and CEO of Tesla, has called for an increase in oil and gas production.  In essence, the man who helped revolutionize the automobile industry and has done more for the “clean energy” agenda than the entire Democratic party is calling for more oil and gas.  It might be time for President Biden to listen.  The American economy is at a tipping point, and consumers and taxpayers need a breather, which should come in the form of energy independence.

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