The war in Ukraine has taught everyone a valuable lesson: any politician who argues against unleashing our country’s oil and natural gas industry does not grasp our geopolitical challenges.
Now, as a madman forces an invasion and shatters peace in Europe, American energy independence is an absolute must. Senator Josh Hawley’s “American Energy Independence Act of 2022” represents an important step in the right direction.
Even before Putin’s invasion, America’s working families were paying nearly 30 percent more at the pump than last year. A gallon of gas is more than 92 cents higher year over year, meaning a 20-gallon fill up now costs more than $18 dollars more. Adding insult to injury, part of that cost might just be making Vladimir Putin a little richer since the United States imported nearly 7 percent of all its oil from Russia in 2021. This terrible arrangement prompted a Ukrainian lawmaker to say Russian oil and natural gas “is full of Ukrainian blood.”
Here’s another inconvenient truth: the United States was energy independent before Joe Biden took office. Little more than a year later, we are not – and we are paying the price.
One his first day in office, the President cancelled the Keystone pipeline, putting 11,000 Americans out of work. In the weeks and months that followed, the Biden Administration shut down public lands to oil and gas exploration on public lands and is still going to court to stop more American energy. President Biden, and many who stand with him, have delivered what can only be described as an “America Last” energy policy, a major driver behind the highest inflation in 40 years.
The loss of American energy independence has real consequences, and we need a U-turn now.
This used to be a bipartisan principle. For decades, Republican and Democratic presidents bemoaned our dependence on foreign powers for our energy. When our country finally achieved energy independence, gas was affordable, and we were able to withstand price shocks even as instability took place across the globe.
It’s a sad situation that we need a bill to demand the energy independence that for decades nearly everyone agreed was critical. However, Senator Hawley’s bill is necessary because too many leaders in Washington believe a green agenda is more important.
How important? In an interview that aired the same day Putin sent his armies into the Ukraine, Biden’s Climate Czar John Kerry said, “And so I hope President Putin will help us to stay on track with respect to what we need to do for the climate.” So, as a madman was starting a war with its neighbor, John Kerry was more worried about the carbon footprint.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki next took the position that we could get rid of our foreign energy dependence by doubling down on solar panel and windmills. Sadly, this is the very same road Germany tried to walk for the last decade before learning the hard way that relying on unreliable energy sources only forces more dependence on Russia. Germany was so reliant that they pushed for a new pipeline from Russia to their shores even as Putin massed soldiers at the Ukrainian border.
Fun fact: Who was it that lifted sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and then lobbied Senators to vote against reimposing them just over a month ago? The Biden Administration. Why President Biden cancelled a pipeline at home while fighting to get them approved for Russia is a very important question. Russian oil and natural gas are no “cleaner” than American, but the ensuing revenue flows into the Kremlin rather than support good-paying jobs here at home.
American energy independence not only delivers more affordable and reliable energy to our families, but it also strengthens our position in an increasingly unstable world. The time to reestablish our energy independence is now.
Kudos to Senator Hawley for not only recognizing that principle but taking meaningful action on it.
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
Larry Behrens is the Communications Director for Power The Future, a non-profit that advocates for America’s energy workers. You can email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org