Senator Mitch McConnell: Soaring Gas Prices, Runaway Energy Costs, and Dependence on China

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

“In 2019, while running for the White House, President Biden made a public promise: ‘I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuels.’

“Once in office, he wasted no time starting down that path. And working families are paying the price.

“During the previous Administration, under Republican policies, our nation became a net exporter of oil for the first time in decades. We were producing all that we needed and then some.

“The headlines under this all-Democrat-controlled government are quite different. Here were two from January 2021, right out of the gate: ‘Biden Halts Oil and Gas Leases [and] Permits on U.S. Land and Water.’ And ‘Biden Order Blocks Keystone XL Pipeline.’

“And here are the headlines more recently. From a few weeks ago: ‘Biden Pulls 3 Offshore Oil Lease Sales, Curbing New Drilling This Year.’ And from just this past week: ‘Biden EPA to Make It Easier for States to Block Fossil Fuel Projects.’

“So even if oil and gas producers could get past the Biden regulatory gauntlet to actually explore and produce in this country, they likely could not get a pipeline approved to move it to market.

“President Biden is delivering the holy war on American domestic energy that he promised on the campaign trail. Meanwhile, energy costs and gas prices for American families have absolutely skyrocketed.

“Gas prices have literally doubled since this Administration took office. The average price at the pump has doubled.

“The President’s staff try to play this off as ‘Putin’s price hike,’ but the reality is that prices were already climbing steadily long before the escalation in Ukraine.  Up more than a dollar per gallon before Putin’s escalation.

“Prices for natural gas and other home heating sources were likewise elevated all last winter. And don’t count on the warmer months bringing much relief. Here’s what the New York Times wrote about a month ago: ‘Get Ready for Another Energy Price Spike: High Electric Bills.’ ‘Already frustrated and angry about high gasoline prices, many Americans are being hit by rapidly rising electricity bills… the biggest annual increase in more than a decade.’

“According to another report, ‘the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission predicts electricity prices could rise by as much as 233 percent over last summer’s power prices.’

“And electricity costs aren’t the only problem. There is also reliability. According to the North American Electric Reliability Corporation, Americans, particularly in the West and Midwest, should brace for potentially dangerous electricity blackouts this summer.

“Once again, you can credit Democrats’ war on fossil fuels. It retired too many fossil-fuel-powered electricity generators too quickly, while replacing them with big subsidies for less reliable sources of power.

“A few days ago, President Biden said soaring gas prices were just part of, ‘an incredible transition’ that will leave us ‘less reliant on fossil fuels.’ Did you hear that, American workers? Democrats say your financial pain is the necessary cost to make America more to the liking of the radical environmental left.

“The Secretary of Energy has naively suggested that green energy will leave us in a better strategic position than fossil fuels. Maybe she’s not aware that more than 80 percent of the world’s polysilicon is made in China, and about 80 percent of America’s rare earth mineral needs are met by Chinese imports as well.

“This is why it’s such a joke for the Administration to misuse the Defense Production Act to prop up solar panel manufacturers. They’ll just end up subsidizing Chinese suppliers upstream!

“Our stockpiles of actual military requirements like Javelin missiles and essential munitions are being depleted. Production of critical inputs like energetics and solid rocket motors is backed up months and even years. But instead of using the Defense Production Act for our nation’s defense, the President is using it to indirectly line China’s pockets.

“Washington Democrats are hostile to the kinds of domestic mining and drilling that we’ll need to produce any kind of energy here at home, even ‘green’ energy.

“Last year, House Democrats proposed a literal ‘dirt tax’ that would crush domestic minerals and rare earth mining. They are so opposed to domestic mining, including for critical and rare earth minerals, Democrats literally tried to tax dirt.

“Look, Mr. President, this doesn’t have to be this hard. The American people know exactly what we need: An all-American domestic energy strategy. Crude oil responsibly drilled in America, natural gas responsibly fracked in America, and more minerals and high-tech components responsibly mined in America.

“Democrats have a different plan: Less production and higher prices. And Americans are paying for it every day.”

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