HomeEnvironment & Climate NewsCommentary: How to Restore America's Energy Dominance

Commentary: How to Restore America’s Energy Dominance

By Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is savagely attacking Ukraine. Innocent people are dying as Putin continues his murderous march.

There’s a different kind of war going on at home, and it’s directly related to Russia.

It is President Joe Biden’s war on American energy.

Putin’s invasion has further exposed the failures of the Biden administration’s radical anti-American energy policies.

Low-Energy President

The president recently claimed, “It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production.” This is simply false.

Since day one, this president’s focus has been on ending the production and use of American oil, natural gas, and coal. He killed the Keystone XL pipeline. Then Biden froze oil and gas leasing on federal lands. His administration has made it virtually impossible to build new natural gas pipelines and storage facilities.

The president’s policies, nominees, and rhetoric have worsened market uncertainty and frightened off would-be investors in our oil and gas sector. Now we’re seeing the results. Energy prices are skyrocketing. Gasoline has nearly doubled in price since the president’s inauguration. There’s pain at the pump, and expensive utility bills brought tough choices for families across Wyoming this winter.

Biden: ‘Can’t Do Much’

The president’s decision to waive sanctions on Putin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline was another mistake. Our policy should be to make Europe less reliant on Russian energy, not more.

To do that, we need to replace Russian energy with more American energy.

We need a new approach that embraces Wyoming’s and the rest of the nation’s energy abundance. American energy is not just good for our economy and international competitiveness. Making America energy-dominant will increase our nation’s and our allies’ security.

The White House is out of ideas. When recently asked about what he can do to lower gasoline prices for Americans, President Biden responded with, “They’re going to go up. Can’t do much right now.”

We need a better approach.

GOP Senators Push Production

We need to act. Earlier this month, we, along with every Republican on the Senate Energy Committee, sent a letter to President Biden outlining these 10 sensible steps to spur greater American energy production and deny Putin cash for his war machine.

The Interior Department must hold new oil and natural gas lease sales on federal lands and waters, where about a quarter of our oil comes from. We have to use the energy we have here in Wyoming and across the country.

Financial regulators need to stop regulatory mandates that raise the cost of financing and make it more difficult for energy companies to raise capital. That means less production and more inflation.

Help Allies, Not Dangerous States

The White House can’t even agree to speed up all the pending approvals for liquefied natural gas exports to our allies.

Congress should pass legislation doing just that. It will make them and us more secure.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has to stop restricting new natural gas pipeline approvals. Making more American natural gas available to Americans and our allies cannot happen without additional infrastructure.

Internationally, we should finance natural gas and coal power plants. Denying U.S. support for these projects will drive developing countries to China for financing.

We should start buying American-mined uranium for a strategic reserve. More than 90 percent of the uranium we use is imported, including from Russia. Nuclear power is the largest source of carbon-dioxide emissions-free energy and is key to our national security.

It’s time to ban imports of Russian uranium and use the vast uranium resources we have in Wyoming.

Streamline Permitting, Expand Mining

We need to update and streamline our permitting process.

Vital energy projects shouldn’t get tied up in years of red tape.

The president should withdraw the executive order cancelling the Keystone XL pipeline. This will send a massive signal that we are open for business.

We should work with the E.U. to develop their shale resources through hydraulic fracturing technologies. Putin has been financing campaigns throughout Europe to scare people about this technology. They have worked. We need to counter these myths.

Finally, we have critical minerals here at home that the Democrats won’t let us mine. We should approve these mines right away. That’s how we secure our supply chain and get away from minerals from Russia and China.

Act Like an ‘Energy Superpower’

Last month, the president said he would “work like the devil” to protect American families and businesses from rising energy prices and inflation.

If he’s serious about helping American families, and our Ukrainian allies, he’ll implement these 10 policies—and start today.

America is the world’s energy superpower. It is time we started acting like it again.

U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY)  (https://www.barrasso.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/contact-form) is Wyoming’s senior senator and a medical doctor from Casper. U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) (https://www.lummis.senate.gov/contact/contact-form/) is the state’s junior senator and a cattle rancher/landowner from Cheyenne. This article was originally published by the Wyoming Tribune Eagle on Wyoming.com and is republished with the express permission of its authors.

Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) and Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY)
U.S. Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) is the state’s senior senator and a medical doctor from Casper. U.S. Sen. Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) is the state’s junior senator and a cattle rancher/landowner from Cheyenne.

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