Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY) delivered the following remarks on the Senator floor about President Biden’s punishing energy policies.
Barrasso is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR).
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“I come to the floor today to talk about what Americans are talking about all across the country and that is the fact that energy prices are rising and doing it dramatically.
“Energy is called the ‘master resource’ for a reason.
“It powers our communities, our homes, our military, and our economy. It fuels the trucks that bring goods and groceries to market. It keeps the lights on at small businesses all across the country. It heats our homes.
“This is the reason why higher energy prices mean higher prices in every other part of our life.
“Over the last nine months, people have been seeing this all across the country.
“Energy prices have gone up and not just by a little. They’ve gone up a lot. It’s contributed to higher prices for just about everything we do and everywhere we go.
“The cost of a tank of gas is about a dollar higher now than it was when Joe Biden came into the White House. As a result, if you go to fill up, it’s about $25 more to fill your tank today than it was back in January on the 20th when Joe Biden took the oath of office.
“Now, it’s not just gasoline that’s gone up, it’s the gas we use to heat our homes. Natural gas powers nearly half of the homes that are heated across America. The price is now at a seven year high.
“As a result, families are going to pay a lot more not just to drive, but also to heat their homes this winter.
“Here in America, we have the energy resources we need, we’re just not able to use them because of this administration.
“Under the last administration, America became the largest producer of oil and natural gas in the world—in the world!
“America’s energy dominance worked to help us reduce our trade deficit. It brought home more jobs. It brought industries home to America. It fueled the best economy in my lifetime.
“As a nation, we became energy independent for the first time in 70 years. These were historic achievements by America’s energy workers.
“My home state, the state was Wyoming, was proud to play a major role in these achievements. Wyoming is America’s number one per capita exporter of energy. We produce it in Wyoming and we send it around the country and around the world. We power America, and we power the world.
“Yet ever since Joe Biden became president, it’s become a lot harder.
“I talk to energy workers at home all of the time in Wyoming all across the state and they continue to tell me, it’s never been more difficult than it is right now.
“In just nine months, Joe Biden has already become the most anti-American energy president in our nation’s history.
“On his first day in office, he drew a target on the back of American petroleum energy and he pulled the trigger. He killed the Keystone XL pipeline. That ended thousands of good jobs at the height of a pandemic.
“President Biden also shut down oil and gas exploration near the Arctic. He banned oil and gas leasing on federal lands. This has been devastating to Western states like Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico.
“Nearly half of Wyoming is federal land. Now Joe Biden says that land is off limits to Wyoming energy workers.
“Because of Joe Biden’s radical anti-energy agenda, people in every corner of this country are paying higher prices for energy. We’re paying more at the pump. We’re paying more at the grocery store – paying all around.
“Even one of the Democrats’ favorite economist, Mark Zandi, says the American people are now paying $175 more every month than they were a year ago. That includes gas, groceries, rent – Joe Biden inflation.
“This is equivalent to a $2,100 a year. That’s a heck of a paycheck cut for American workers.
“Who gets hurts by this? It’s struggling families, it’s seniors. It’s people living on a fixed income. Polls show about half of the country lives paycheck to paycheck.
“About 40 percent of the country says they couldn’t afford to cover an emergency if it cost above $400. In the Joe Biden economy, people are paying five times that amount just in the cost of annual inflation.
“The Biden White House doesn’t seem to care very much about it – doesn’t understand it.
“Last week the White House chief of staff retweeted a message which said inflation is a ‘high class problem.’ He couldn’t be more wrong. If the White House believes this, they are woefully at a loss for understanding what’s happening in this country.
“What is happening is exactly the opposite of what the White House thinks. The White House chief of staff clearly doesn’t understand the struggles of working families all across this country.
“The big Democrat donors in Chuck Schumer’s Brooklyn, New York and Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco – they’re going to be just fine.
“It’s working families in rural America who are getting hurt the most. As winter is coming, energy costs are going to go up significantly.
“The U.S. Energy Information Administration says energy bills will be up dramatically this winter compared to last. This inflation nightmare is absolutely at a point that still has no end in sight.
“Democrats have finally been hit by the reality that people are worried about the high cost of energy. What have they decided to do about it?
“Astonishingly in August, the president’s national security advisor begged Russia, OPEC, and the oil cartel to pump more oil.
“It’s hard to believe that really happened. It’s also hard to believe that my friend and colleague – the senior senator from Alaska – told us in the Energy Committee that the United States is using more oil from Russia than we are from Alaska right now.
“If you don’t believe it – that the administration is asking OPEC and Russia to produce more oil to help lower the cost in the United States, just go to the White House website. They put it on the White House website.
“Joe Biden would rather buy energy from our enemies and send American dollars overseas than produce it here at home.
“He would rather send American dollars overseas to our enemies than explore for American energy and the resources that we have where we have the capacity to lead the world.
“Last week the Biden administration made an off-the-record call to our U.S. energy producing companies. The administration had the nerve to ask them to lower prices at the same time that this administration has forced them to lower their production. It’s Economics 101—supply and demand. It’s basic arithmetic.
“Now the Energy secretary says we might have to use the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to try and bring more energy onto the market to help deal with the costs that have gone up as a result of the Biden policies.
“We went to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve during the first Iraq War, after Hurricane Katrina, and during the Arab Spring. In other words, this is something we do in a crisis.
“The Biden administration won’t say it out loud, yet let’s admit it: there is a crisis.
“It is one that Joe Biden and his administration has created. It is a crisis of Joe Biden’s own making. It is a crisis that Joe Biden could end tomorrow because we have the capacity at home to do it.
“Instead, what are Democrats doing? They’re threatening to make it even worse. Democrats in the Senate are pushing a $3.5 trillion reckless tax-and-spending spree.
“Last month, one commissioner of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission told us at the Energy committee, that to pass this $3.5 trillion bill would be ‘like an H-bomb’ on America’s energy markets.
“That’s because the bill contains huge portions of what has become known to be, the disastrous Green Bad Deal.
“Here are just a few examples that are included in this $3.5 trillion Democrat bill that’s in the House right now: $8 billion for a so-called Civilian Climate Corps. This is taxpayer funded climate police. They will get free housing, free clothing, free college tuition, free child care to go out and police the environment based on the climate.
“The Democrat spending spree includes $10 billion for what the Democrats call ‘environmental justice in higher education.’ The bill includes $105 billion for what the Democrats call ‘climate justice’ and green energy subsidies.
“These subsidies include huge subsidies for people who buy and drive electric vehicles. And who buys and drives electric vehicles? People will lots of income – not the average American.
“The government is already giving billions of taxpayer dollars to electric vehicle manufacturers and owners.
“Nearly 80 percent of the tax credits go to households making at least $100,000 a year.
“The spending spree would give up to $12,500 to married couples to buy electric vehicles.
“A single person earning up to $400,000 a year could get a subsidy. A married couple earning up to $800,000 a year could get the subsidy.
“How would Democrats pay for all these handouts? By putting more taxes on producing natural gas. What is that going to do to the average person trying to heat their home this winter?
“This will raise natural gas prices even higher. It would eliminate up to 90,000 American energy jobs. This would raise energy costs for people all across the country. What the administration’s answer is, is the last thing we need right now.
“We have the best energy resources in the world. We also have the best energy workers in the world. It’s time we let these good men and women do their jobs.
“The American people don’t need trillions of dollars more in taxes and spending and debt. We need more American energy.
“It’s time for Joe Biden and the Democrats to get out of the way of affordable American energy. The people of this country need it badly.”