It’s nearly impossible for working families to get through a single day without feeling the pain of President Joe Biden’s economic crisis. Families are struggling to put food on the table because grocery costs have risen 17.4% since Biden took the oath of office. Gas prices are so high that Americans are paying thousands of dollars more a year to fill up the tank. On top of that, millions of families are struggling to afford to keep their lights on because utility costs are through the roof.
So what’s driving the energy crisis? One-party Washington Democrat rule. Biden and Washington Democrats have declared war on American energy.
On day one of his administration, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, which could be supplying 830,000 barrels per day of oil from Canada to U.S. refineries. He didn’t cancel it for environmental concerns; transporting oil through a pipeline is safer than by rail. He canceled the pipeline to score points with wealthy Liberal donors and radical environmentalists.
Unfortunately, his decision to cancel the pipeline was the first of many actions he would take to benefit wealthy donors and radical environmentalists at the expense of working-class Americans.
Over the summer, as gas prices were at record highs, Washington Democrats decided to drive energy prices even higher by including a $12 billion tax on U.S. energy in their Inflation Act, their massive, $745 billion tax-and-spend climate bill. That’s right: in the middle of a full-blown energy crisis, Washington Democrats raised taxes on U.S. energy knowing that it would create more pain for Americans’ who are struggling to make ends meet. What’s worse is this tax increase is only a fraction of the taxes Washington Democrats want to put in place. In Biden’s last budget, he called for $45 billion in new taxes on U.S. energy producers.
Among the most mind-boggling actions of this administration was Biden’s decision to ship oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to China. In the middle of a major energy crisis, Biden was more concerned with lowering energy costs in China – our top adversary – than helping families in middle America. The SPR, which is meant for weather events or national security emergencies, is at its lowest level since 1984 thanks to Biden. As part of my fight to hold Biden accountable, I coauthored an amendment to block this from ever happening again.
One of Biden’s so-called solutions to bring down energy costs is begging foreign countries to pump more oil. But just like every “solution” that’s come out of this administration, his strategy has been a complete failure and actually made the problem worse. Last week, despite desperate pleas from the Biden administration, Saudi Arabia and other energy producing nations announced that they’ll cut oil production, a move that will lead to higher energy prices here at home. Instead of continuing his failed strategy of begging other countries to pump more oil, Biden should be doing everything he can to boost energy production in the U.S., which is home to a vast amount of natural resources and would help make us energy independent. It wasn’t too long ago that under President Trump the U.S. was a net energy exporter, today, under the policies of Biden, we are once again dependent on foreign nations for our energy needs.
It’s infuriating that Biden and Washington Democrats continue to ignore the significant harm their radical energy agenda is causing families. One out of every six Americans are behind on their utility bills, living in fear that their utilities could be cut off. With natural gas prices at a near 14-year high, Missouri families could see their utility costs increase by 30% – 50% this winter. And as of August, nearly a quarter of Americans reported foregoing basic expenses like food or medicine to afford an energy bill.
Washington Democrats’ radical climate agenda has been a complete disaster for our country. Fortunately, Republicans have made a Commitment to America to make energy affordable again and to restore America’s energy independence. We’ll maximize production of reliable, American-made energy. We’ll incentivize new energy exploration and reduce our reliance on foreign oil, prevent rolling blackouts, and lower the cost of gas and utilities by getting rid of the burdensome permitting process Biden put in place to stifle the creation of new large-scale refineries.
I’ll never stop fighting to protect working-class families from the Left’s harmful policies. I will do everything I can to advance an all-of-the-above energy agenda to lower costs, support job growth, and make our economy strong again.
U.S. Rep. Jason Smith is the area’s state representative for the 8th Congressional District.