Submitted by Senator Roger Wicker
Climate Agenda Drives Up Gas Prices, Weakens Power Grid
Paying an arm and a leg for gasoline has become a fact of life under President Biden. For four straight months, gas prices in Mississippi have topped $4 per gallon – more than double what we were paying just two years ago. Electricity costs are soaring as well. Over the past year, electricity rates have risen 13.7 percent, eating up a larger share of our budgets. These heavy costs are falling especially hard on lower-income Americans, retirees, and those on fixed incomes. Recently, when asked how long Americans will have to stomach these prices, President Biden said bluntly, “As long as it takes.”
These high energy prices are a direct result of the President’s climate agenda, which he has refused to abandon in the face of mounting costs. Mr. Biden put his cards on the table in 2019 when he told his supporters, “We are going to end fossil fuel.” He has since shown that he is serious. As President, he has aggressively sought to block oil and gas development across the nation and has waged a relentless war on coal. Many of us had hoped he would alter his course amid out-of-control energy prices, but he has simply resorted to band-aid solutions to try to hide the harmful effects of his policies.
Gimmicks Fail to Lower Prices
Since November, President Biden has released more than 150 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to lower gas prices. Predictably, this has not worked. Americans are still paying over $4 per gallon, yet now our oil reserve – which was designed strictly for emergencies – has been largely depleted, leaving us more vulnerable in the future. It is also reported that over five million barrels of this oil were sent overseas, including to China.
President Biden has proposed other short-term gimmicks as well. He has floated a national gas tax holiday, which would save drivers at most 18 cents on the gallon, and which President Obama once derided as a political stunt. He has urged foreign countries, like Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, to boost oil exports even as he is crushing American oil production. Recently, he even tried to tell gas stations to lower their prices unilaterally, as if somehow they could control the global oil market. President Biden is in total denial that his anti-energy policies are the real problem.
Green Agenda Could Lead to Blackouts
In addition to hurting the economy, the President’s war on energy poses a growing risk to our power grid. Natural gas and coal currently provide 60 percent of our electricity, yet these are the very power sources President Biden is targeting with heavy regulations. According to the Energy Information Administration, 85 percent of power plant closures this year are expected to be among coal-fired plants – a direct result of the President’s war on coal. With our power supply shrinking, experts say more than half of the country now faces a higher risk of power outages this summer.
Ten years ago, the German government attempted to move away from coal and nuclear power the way President Biden is trying to do. After a few years, they found it unworkable. It became clear that renewable energy sources are not yet reliable and cannot provide 100 percent of a major country’s power needs. President Biden should heed this lesson. Until he shifts course and decides to unleash the full range of our abundant energy resources, we will all continue to suffer.
Submitted by Senator Roger Wicker