While Putin Massed Forces, Biden Administration Kept Squeezing American Energy

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding energy:

“As Democrats’ policies have unleashed runaway inflation, families have felt particular pain at the gas pump. Since President Biden took office, average gas prices have climbed nearly two dollars.

“The Biden Administration wants to claim that a full year’s worth of price hikes were all caused by a war Vladimir Putin started three weeks ago. But this fictional version of events doesn’t fool anyone.

“Two years ago, then-candidate Biden told everyone he was ready to wage war on the most reliable forms of American energy. ‘No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period. [It] ends.' ‘I guarantee you… We’re going to end fossil fuel.’

“In other words, either the Biden Administration has a shaky understanding of supply and demand, or soaring energy prices have been baked into their agenda from the beginning.

“For 14 months now, energy policy has followed a disturbing pattern. First, the Biden Administration rolls out a direct attack on American energy. Then working families feel the pinch. And then Democrats try to deflect the blame.

“Take the Keystone XL pipeline. President Biden made cancelling it a Day One priority. Then, as gasoline, diesel, and other energy prices climbed, the White House justified itself by saying the project would have taken years to affect prices anyway.

“The problem is that back during the Obama Administration, their own analysis suggested the project would be fully operational by 2013. They’ve spent a decade fighting against a pipeline that would have taken a couple years to come online by complaining it was not immediate enough.

“That was their argument a decade ago and it’s their argument now. The pipeline could have been built multiple times over in the time Democrats spent resisting it.

“Besides, if slow construction were really the problem, the Administration would be rushing to rein in their own regulatory army that is handcuffing other new and existing pipelines with mountains of extra bureaucracy.

“Just weeks ago, while Putin was already massing forces and trying to make energy hostages out of Western Europe, the Biden Administration’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission went out of its way to make permitting new American natural gas pipelines radically more difficult.

“Here’s yet another example. Last year, the Biden Administration directed the SEC to prioritize discouraging loans, capital, and financing for fossil fuel energy projects. But now that a worldwide scramble’s sent prices sky-high, the Administration blames industry and says it’s, ‘time for oil and gas companies to work with Wall Street to unleash our productive capacity.’

“The Administration that campaigned on ending fossil fuels now claims the fossil fuel companies are just lay-abouts who don’t want to drill. It’s enough to make your head spin.

“Oh, and President Biden rushed to lash America back to the mast of a climate deal that actually gave China a pass to keep increasing their emissions. As Germany prepared to give Putin an even tighter hold on Europe’s market for natural gas with the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, President Biden fought bipartisan efforts to stop it.

“His response to soaring prices hurting families last year was to go hat in hand and beg OPEC and Russia to produce more. And now that Russia has invaded Ukraine, the Biden Administration is reportedly exploring more imports from Venezuela and Iran, totalitarian regimes with contempt for human rights and the environment.

“So it turns out the Biden Administration doesn’t mind fossil fuel production after all. They just don’t want to Buy American.

“This Administration will buy oil from the Supreme Leader of Iran. They’ll buy oil from Maduro. If North Korea had oil, they’d probably try to buy that too. Anything to avoid keeping those jobs and that energy independence right here in the U.S.A.”