Click here to watch Ranking Member Barrasso’s remarks.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR), delivered the following remarks at a full committee hearing to examine the causes, outlook, and implications of domestic and international energy price trends.
The hearing featured testimony from Mr. Stephen Nalley, acting administrator of the U.S. Energy Information Administration; Mr. Tim Gould, chief energy economist of the International Energy Agency; and Mr. Robert Bryce, author, journalist, podcaster, and film producer.
For more information on witness testimony click here.
Senator Barrasso’s remarks:
“Thanks so much Mr. Chairman, and thank you for holding today’s very important hearing.
“It comes at a critically important time for our nation.
“American families are facing the highest inflation rate in over 30 years.
“That means Americans – through no fault of their own – have significantly less spending power than they did last year.
“It also means that American families must work harder to stretch the value of their dollar.
“While inflation hurts all of us, it hits low-, middle-, and fixed-income Americans the hardest.
“Americans are also facing significantly higher energy prices.
“Since January, the average price for a gallon of gasoline has increased by over $1.
“That is about 43 percent higher since the president took office.
“In addition, Americans are expected to pay dramatically higher bills to heat and power their homes this winter.
“According to the Department of Energy, American families – depending on where they live – will pay between 22 and 94 percent more for natural gas, propane, and home heating oil this winter.
“Higher energy prices hurt low-, middle-, and fixed-income Americans the most.
“In response to this, President Biden and House Democrats threaten to make inflation even worse.
“President Biden and House Democrats want to ram through partisan legislation that is estimated to cost over $4 trillion.
“That is almost as much – in today’s dollars – as the United States spent in World War II.
“And it is the exact opposite of what Congress should be doing to fight inflation.
“To make matters worse, the House Democrats’ bill will increase energy prices.
“It will impose a natural gas tax on American families.
“Almost half of all American households heat their homes with natural gas.
“At a time of skyrocketing energy prices, House Democrats want to make it even more expensive for families to heat their homes.
“The House Democrats’ bill will also effectively end new oil, natural gas, and coal production on federal lands and waters.
“This bill surrenders America’s hard-won energy independence and makes our country dependent on the OPEC cartel and Russia.
“Mark my words, this winter we will see photos of Russian oil tankers in the Boston harbor delivering to the United States.
“The people of America will pay dearly for the energy that we are not producing in the United States, because what Joe Biden did in Glasgow was beg OPEC+ to sell more energy and produce more oil for the United States to buy.
“This is going to bring Europe’s energy shortages to the United States, and it’s going to make it worse for us.
“Historically, Americans have benefitted from some of the lowest energy prices in the industrialized world.
“In 2020, households in Europe and Japan paid between 85 and 215 percent more for electricity than families in the United States.
“For natural gas, households in Europe paid between 49 and 177 percent more than families in the United States.
“If House Democrats get their way, many American families will have to decide whether to pay their utility bills or put food on the table – one or the other – heat or eat.
“People will have to decide where their money goes.
“Americans businesses have also benefitted from some of the lowest energy prices in the industrialized world.
“In 2020, European businesses paid as much as 160 percent more for electricity than businesses in the United States.
“That same year, European businesses paid much more for natural gas than businesses in the United States.
“If House Democrats get their way, America’s competitive advantage will end.
“Not all Americans are going to suffer under the House Democrats’ legislation.
“Their bill gives wealthy residents of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, and Maryland tens of thousands of dollars in new tax breaks.
“It also gives couples earning half a million dollars per year up to $12,500 to purchase an $80,000 luxury electric vehicle.
“$4,500 of this $12,500 tax break is only available for electric vehicles made at unionized factories.
“Union-made vehicles are no better for the environment than vehicles made in other factories.
“This is a direct gift and payoff to union bosses.
“For the vast majority of Americans, the House Democrats’ bill means more inflation, higher energy costs, and fewer jobs.
“It is why this reckless tax and spending bill must be defeated.
“Thank you, Mr. Chairman, for holding this very important hearing.”