Barrasso: There’s Only One Solution for High Energy Prices, Produce More American Energy

February 16, 2022

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 Senate floor about the need to produce more 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 specifically talk about Americans’ need for more American energy. 

“For the last year, the American people have been suffering from ongoing Joe Biden inflation. 

“And as the war on American energy has continued, we are now at a point where inflation is the worst it’s been in 40 years. So it’s no surprise that the president’s approval rating has dropped to a low of only 40 percent in America. 

“This incredible rise in prices, energy as well as all the other components—whether it’s gas, or whether it’s groceries—because if energy gets more expensive, we know it costs more to manufacture things. Costs more to grow things. Costs more to transport things from where they’re grown or manufactured to market. 

“So much of this inflation has been brought on as a result of the Joe Biden policies related specifically to American energy. 

“When you look at the laws he’s promoted, the executive actions that he has taken, from day one going all the way up to a speech he gave just yesterday, this is a president dancing to the tune of climate elitists. And he wants to keep American energy in the ground. 

On Skyrocketing Energy Prices: 

“Energy prices are up overall about 30 cents on the dollar since Joe Biden took over. 

“They’ve gone up eight months in a row. Gasoline prices are up by about a dollar a gallon, if not more so, since Biden took office. 

“I was at a high school in Greybull, Wyoming. Started talking about energy prices and asked if they know what a gallon of gasoline costs and the student body president knew within nine tenths of a penny how much the cost of gasoline was in their hometown of Greybull, Wyoming.

“People know the price and they have been watching since Joe Biden took over the price of energy going up, and we’ve also seen Joe Biden’s approval going down.  

“This isn’t a coincidence. This is a direct result of the anti-American energy policies of this this president and the Democrats in this body and administration.

“On his first day in office, Joe Biden killed the Keystone pipeline. He blocked new oil and gas leases on public lands. 

“According to the majority leader, the Democrats finally yesterday at their lunch were going to talk about inflation. It’s now February of 2022. Joe Biden came into office January of 2021. Said inflation was going to be temporary. 

“And now ten months into a very serious situation, you still don’t hear any practical solutions coming from the Democrats. 

“We do hear gimmicks. Joe Biden in September had his national security adviser unbelievably beg OPEC and Russia to produce more oil. 

“We’re using twice the amount of crude oil now from Russia than we were a year ago. Vladimir Putin who may any day invade Ukraine, is still exporting five million barrels of crude oil day. 

“The price of oil is $90 a barrel, probably going to a hundred, the Biden and Democrat policies have been a jackpot for Vladimir Putin. 

“So in November, after he tried the effort to beg Putin, to produce more energy and sell it to the United States, the president went to another trick in his bag of tricks another gimmick and he said, let's release some energy from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. 

“So he said how much he was going to release. The Secretary of Energy was asked to do a press conference. Well, how much is that relative to how much we use in the United States? 

“She didn't have any idea. It turned out it was about two and a half days’ worth and the impact of the release drop the price by two cents a gallon. 

“Two cents, oh, Democrats patted themselves on the back and then prices went up again, complete failure. Now prices are expected to go even higher. 

“As I said, maybe a hundred dollars a barrel soon. Many experts are predicting $4 a gallon when you go to fill up this summer. 

On Democrats Wanting to Suspend the Gas Tax: 

“And now we hear another gimmick coming from the Democrats this time, it's a temporary pause in the gasoline tax until after Election Day. 

“So the New York Times had a story about it today. ‘Democrats, with an eye on midterms search for ways to bring down rising prices.’ 

“Not because Americans are suffering, not because people at home, if the Democrats ever go home, not because people at home are telling them how hard it is, not because they have an understanding of the needs of the American people. 

“Nope. None of those reasons, the ‘Democrats with an eye on the midterms’ have introduced this legislation. 

“You look at the list of the co-sponsors and it's interesting that so many of them are people who are listed as vulnerable come the elections in November. This might be the gimmick to end all gimmicks. 

“Suspending the gas tax, oh, and by the way, bringing it back, right after the election. It’s all election driven. 

“We’re going to need less energy after Election Day, going to need more expensive energy after Election Day. That's what we did. 

“I found it interesting to see one Democrat stand up and comment on this is Larry Summers. He was an economic adviser and secretary cabinet member working both the Clinton and the Obama administrations. 

“What did he call it? Short-sighted, ineffective, goofy and gimmicky. Thank you, Larry Summers for pointing out to the Democrats in this body, what the American people already see your efforts are short-sighted, ineffective, goofy, and gimmicky. 

“Of course the gas tax is the way that we pay in this country for roads and bridges. 

“If the gas tax went away today, the American people and those kids in the high school, in Greybull who can do the math, we know that the gas tax is 18 cents a gallon, federal gas tax; know that the increase in the cost of gasoline and what they're paying at the pump is still about a dollar, a gallon higher today than it was the day Joe Biden became president of the United States. 

“This newest proposal by the Democrats – it’s not about affordable energy. It is a cheap political trick. It might sound good in a press release, but the kids in Greybull, Wyoming know it’s not going to help.

On Democrats’ Failed Reckless Tax & Spending Bill: 

“Democrats have tried to spend five months passing their billion-dollar reckless tax and spending bill. The president calls it ‘build back better,’ that’s what he called it yesterday when he gave a speech to a number of county commissioners. 

“The bill includes electric vehicles, so that they get subsidized, and of course electric vehicles pay no gas tax because they don’t use gas, they use electricity. So they don’t subsidize in any way or pay for the wear and tear on the roads they drive. 

“And yet, the Democrats are calling for billions and billions of additional dollars of subsidies for those drivers. Nearly every Democrat in this body still supports this taxpayer giveaway. 

“Nearly every Democrat in the Senate still supports Joe Biden’s war on American energy. Well his war on American energy is raising the cost on American consumers. 

“They say they’re going to take 18 cents off of the cost of a gallon of gas, when it’s already up a dollar a gallon or more, and by summer it will be a lot higher than that… it’s like putting a Band-Aid on a bullet hole.

“The American people get the fact that will raise the cost for them. To drive their car, to heat their home, to grow crops, to get items to market. The shelves are still bare and they were this past weekend at the grocery store in Casper, Wyoming. 

On Biden Killing the Keystone XL Pipeline: 

“Democrats are still delighted that we ended the Keystone XL Pipeline. The Secretary of Energy was supposed to come out with a report about how many jobs were lost by that… still waiting for the report. Homework is past due. 

“Will we ever see the report from the Secretary of Energy? Who doesn’t want to point out the specific impact that Joe Biden has had on this country, in terms of killing jobs and raising energy prices. 

“He is refusing to focus on the issues that are important to them in their lives and their families and their future. That their dreams are being stolen and ripped from them if they have been having savings they wanted to use for something they have been planning for years. 

“What we see is another gimmick coming from the Democrats. Only because their eyes are on the midterms. Their eyes out to be on the people at home who sent them here in the first place. 

On Producing More American Energy: 

“There is a solution to the high cost of American energy and that is to produce more American energy. Let us make it here. We have it in abundance. We have it in Wyoming, we have it all across the country. Use American energy.

“Vladimir Putin knows how to use energy – he uses it as a weapon. And he is using it as a weapon right now. Holding Europe hostage, Germany has fallen into his trap with Nord Stream 2. He knows how to use energy. 

“We have been in the United States an energy superpower, we are and we have the capacity to do it. We have gone from energy dependence to energy independence to energy dominance. We need to return to the day when we are using American energy. 

“We are much better as a country and safer as a country and stronger as a country if we sell energy from the United States to our friends rather than follow the Joe Biden route of begging Vladimir Putin to sell some of his energy to us.

“That weakens America, it weakens us, it weakens our future. We have the resources here in America, we have the know-how. We have the individuals wanting to work, producing American energy. 

“We need an administration which will allow us to do so. And we don’t have that with a leadership in the White House and in the majority party in the House and in the Senate right now.”