American energy is best energy

by Tom Cole

America hit a troubling milestone this month with prices at the pump reflecting the most expensive in seven years while oil shortages around the world worsen. And as the holidays approach, gas and utility prices are only expected to increase further. Unfortunately, this crisis could have been at least partially avoided if President Joe Biden had not caved to the radical left when he assumed office, choosing to jeopardize American energy independence for the sake of so called “environmental protections.”

During Energy Awareness Month, we remember the importance of self-reliance on energy production to keep prices low and our nation’s economy safe and secure from countries that do not have our best interest at heart. Indeed, not only does energy dependence on other countries mean higher prices for Americans, but if our international suppliers are in crisis, so are we.

Before President Biden assumed office, the United States prioritized domestic production of energy. In fact, petroleum imports in 2020 were the lowest since 1991 due to our own domestic production boom. However, soon after assuming office, President Biden issued several executive orders discouraging domestic production, including shutting down the Keystone XL Pipeline and declaring a moratorium on oil, gas and coal leasing on federal lands and waters.

Not only have these actions resulted in more than 11,000 American jobs lost and local governments and the U.S. Treasury being denied revenue they greatly depend on, but it also decreased U.S. Gross Domestic Product (GDP) by $700 billion. Now, U.S. oil imports from foreign sources are expected to increase by two million barrels a day, and our country is on track to spend $500 billion more on energy from foreign suppliers through 2030.

However, instead of reversing his disastrous policies to ease the skyrocketing prices and create jobs for Americans, President Biden has asked the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and Russia for more output of oil. Indeed, the real outcome has meant greater American reliance on foreign countries for energy, which certainly creates new security threats for our country.

Despite the ongoing global energy crisis, President Biden and Democrats are proposing more disastrous energy policies that would undeniably worsen supply shortages and price increases in their $5 trillion socialist-spending bill. Examples include a natural gas tax and more bans on oil and gas production on federal lands and waters. The result of these policies could lead to our energy bills increasing by $242 per year and raise the cost of nearly 6,000 common household products and technologies.

Finally, at a time when the oil supply is constrained worldwide, those we depend on heavily for imports, including Communist China, are rationing their oil and slowing down factory production. As the world relies on them so much for our supply chain, this certainly threatens to slow the post-pandemic economic recovery. This only shows that when we rely on our own energy production, we are certainly in a better spot. 

Living in a state with a rich history of production and innovation in the energy sector, Oklahomans certainly have experienced the disturbing impact of President Biden and Democrats’ anti-energy agenda. That’s why I am proud to be a member of the House Energy Action Team (HEAT) to find commonsense solutions to our energy crisis. While Republicans and Democrats alike agree that climate change needs to be addressed, we cannot allow policies that undercut or disband our energy independence and competitiveness.

The bottom line is: American energy is the best option. It is the most affordable and safest energy. I urge the Biden Administration and Democrats to reverse course so that we can regain our independence, compete with China and help Americans keep more of their hard-earned dollars.