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 stopping President Biden’s war on American energy.
Barrasso is ranking member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources (ENR).
Senator Barrasso’s excerpts:
“I come to the floor today to talk about the need for more American energy – not the energy the President is begging OPEC or Russia to produce for America.
“Last week President Biden ordered the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
“The president, in my opinion, is pretending to show a concern about the high cost of energy in this country.
“The amount he released is so very little.
“In reality, this call to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, was an admission of failure of this president and this administration.
“Releasing oil from the reserve is something presidents did in the past during the Iraq War, after Hurricane Katrina, and during the Arab Spring.
“In other words, this is something presidents do during times of crisis.
“President Biden doesn’t want to admit he has created an emergency crisis in our country.
“But his actions of calling on the release from the Strategic Reserve speak louder than his words.
“By releasing oil from the reserve now, the president is admitting what every American knows – America has an energy crisis. It’s not for lack of the fact that we have plenty of energy reserves here in the United States.
“Last week an estimated 50 million people over Thanksgiving weekend took to the roads.
“Those who drove paid the most for gasoline that they have in seven years.
“Gasoline and diesel fuel prices are sky high. They have increased by more than a dollar a gallon since Joe Biden took office just in January.
“Why is this happening?
“It’s economics 101 – you have demand. You have supply. Demand is up, supply is down.
“With the end of the lockdowns, demand for gasoline has increased as people took to the roads.
“Yet domestic supply is still below the peak that we reached under President Trump.
“The Biden administration wants us to believe that releasing oil will solve the problem when he taps the Strategic Reserve.
“But I don’t even think President Biden believes it.
“Last week the secretary of Energy was asked how much oil the American people use.
“She admitted she didn’t know.
“She said, ‘I don’t have that number in front of me.’
“The nation’s top energy official doesn’t know how much oil the American people use. So how can she then know if the amount that the call for the release is the right amount or not?
“She is President Biden’s top lieutenant in the war on American energy. She doesn’t know how much we use.
“The media has broadly reported that the total amount Joe Biden is releasing from the Petroleum Reserve is what the American people use every two-and-a-half days.
“This is a drop in the bucket when it comes to oil prices and energy prices and what people are paying at the pump. This is not a long-term solution. It’s not even a short-term solution. It’s just a carefully created soundbite.
“Oil production is down by nearly two million barrels a day compared to the peak under President Trump.
“It’s not a surprise when you a take at the attack on American energy that President Biden and this administration have continued to do since day one when he killed the Keystone XL Pipeline.
“Last week, the department of the Interior called for additional fees –more taxes, more expenses – on oil and gas leases on federal land. That impacts my state dramatically.
“This is in addition to the fees the president is including in this massive tax-and spending bill that the Senate is going to be considering.
“This is also economics 101 – higher fees on the cost of producing oil means higher prices for people at the pump. Astonishing. Making it harder to produce and more expensive to produce American energy. Begging OPEC and Russia to produce more to sell to us – a jackpot for Vladimir Putin.
“If President Biden and his department of the Interior get their way, the prices will go up even higher. Inflation is here to stay under the Democrats.
“The American people deserve better. They deserve real solutions to this energy crisis that this administration has created.
“Higher fees will only get passed on to consumers.
“Instead of spending our savings, we should be producing more American energy. Why are we sending this money to Vladimir Putin and begging him to produce more so we can send him even more money?
“That’s the policy of this administration.
“Today I am introducing legislation that says the administration needs to develop a plan to increase oil and gas production anytime an administration taps the Strategic Petroleum Reserve unless there is an energy supply emergency.
“Like Katrina, like a war – those are legitimate reasons to release energy from the Strategic Reserve. The Reserve is for emergencies not for soundbites. It’s not supposed to be a band aid for bad policies.
“The president is tapping the Reserve, he also ought to increase American energy production.
“So I urge my colleagues to return to the policies that gave us the best economic times of my lifetime.
“Return to the policies that made us energy independent as a nation for the first time in 70 years.
“Return to the policies that made us the number one producer of petroleum in the world. We are much stronger and better as a nation if we are selling American energy to our friends than if we have to buy it from our enemies.
“Apparently the president does not fully grasp that or believe in that or he would not be begging Vladimir Putin to produce more energy. He would be encouraging America to produce more energy.
“It’s time to stop the restrictions on energy production. Time to stop the rush to raise billions in taxes. Time to stop the president and the Democrats’ declared war on American energy.”