Lowering Energy Costs

by Congressman Tom Cole

On his first day in office, President Joe Biden rescinded the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, and followed that up by suspending new oil and gas leasing and drilling on federal lands and waters. Americans have unfortunately felt the effects of these actions through record-high energy prices. In response, however, House Republicans last week advanced H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which if signed into law, would end this sad state of affairs by increasing domestic energy production, reforming and streamlining the permitting process for energy infrastructure, reversing the Biden Administration’s anti-energy policies and boosting the production and processing of critical minerals.

Although the Biden Administration continues its attempt to persuade the American people that Green New Deal-style policies are the best direction for the country, the numbers do not lie, and they show Americans are struggling. No one should have to choose between putting food on the table or fuel in their car. Unfortunately, because of the president’s disastrous actions, in 2021, American energy prices spiked 29.3 percent according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and a further 7.3 percent in 2022. This was most heavily felt through gasoline prices, which jumped nearly 50 percent in 2021. By reforming the broken permitting process, requiring the Department of the Interior to resume lease sales on federal lands and waters and increasing domestic energy production, the Lower Energy Costs Act would significantly drive down the high energy prices that have crushed Americans for two years.

This legislation would also allow for the increased production of critical minerals that would benefit the United States' national security and economic development. Since 2019, the United States has been import-reliant for 31 of 35 critical minerals and had no domestic production for 14 of those minerals. And today, our country is dependent on the Chinese Communist Party for more than 50 percent of its supply for 25 different minerals. By cutting red tape preventing the mining of these minerals, we can produce our own essential medical and military supplies, and end our dependency on other countries for these critical products.

Finally, the Biden Administration has depleted our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to the lowest levels since 1984. By producing our own energy here at home and using the resources readily available to us, we can end our dependence on countries that do not have our best interests in mind such as China, Russia or Iran for energy. This is by no means unachievable. Before the Biden Administration began, the United States had become a net exporter of energy.

By rolling back the Biden Administration’s disastrous anti-North American energy agenda, we can unleash our energy resources here at home, lower energy costs and ensure the U.S. is not reliant on our adversaries for energy sources. Over the past two years we have learned that an all of the above energy policy is certainly the best route for the American people and our national security, and I was proud to support the Lower Energy Costs Act that would set us on the track to restore our energy independence.