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ICYMI: It’s Time to Reclaim American Energy Dominance

WASHINGTON, D.C., February 16, 2024 | Committee Press Office (202-225-2761)
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By House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.)
Washington Examiner

One of the defining matters of our time is energy security and affordability. In a world in which China and Russia are attempting to take over the global energy stage daily, America must remain the world leader in energy production, exportation, and innovation. Reliance on our adversaries is not an option for the United States or our allies, especially not when national security is at stake. 

Unfortunately, this pivotal moment in history comes at a time when our president is actively choosing to put America last. The failures of the Biden administration’s energy policies are everywhere we turn, and these decisions will have devastating ripple effects for generations to come. 

For example, by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, President Joe Biden affected an estimated 11,000 jobs, including 8,000 union jobs he allegedly supports. This decision not only undermined America’s energy sector employment but also strained our energy infrastructure, possibly increasing reliance on less secure and more environmentally detrimental sources. 

Shortly after Biden’s decision in early 2021, House Committee on Natural Resources Republicans held a forum to hear directly from the men and women whose jobs were eliminated and who were facing critical decisions about how they would make ends meet and replace the jobs the president took from them. 

Soon after, Biden rescinded the Twin Metals mine permits in northern Minnesota. This project, encompassing some of the richest mineral reserves in America, holds key minerals for renewable energy production. Hindering the project dramatically increases our reliance on foreign inputs and nations with much weaker environmental standards. 

Biden and congressional Democrats have depleted the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to manage soaring energy prices caused by his restrictive energy policies. This misuse of a critical emergency asset compromises national security and fails to address the underlying matters of energy affordability and independence. The reserve is supposed to be our insurance policy in times of extreme emergency, not a Band-Aid for a president’s poor decisions.  

In Alaska, Biden canceled oil and gas leases, cutting off critical revenue streams for indigenous communities and negatively affecting a state heavily reliant on natural resources for its livelihood. 

And just last month, the administration announced a moratorium on approvals for new liquefied natural gas export terminals, the latest move in their attack on American energy dominance.

Energy security is national security. None of these moves are bringing us closer to being energy secure or dominant. We must reverse course and use an all-of-the-above approach, investing in American innovation to ensure we remain a global energy producer. 

I’d be remiss if I didn’t note that American energy production remains unmatched in its environmental standards. While the Biden administration is content to ignore reality and pretend we can flip a switch and transition overnight to 100% renewable energy, that’s simply not the case. Global demand for fossil fuels and critical minerals will only continue to increase for the foreseeable future. At best, it’s irresponsible for us not to invest in innovative technologies that make traditional energy production cleaner, cheaper, and safer. At worst, it’s a dangerous national security gamble that could have global fallout if supply chains are jeopardized by war or other instability.

Here on the House Committee on Natural Resources, we’re putting hardworking people in the driver’s seat by advancing energy solutions that are environmentally sound and economically viable. We are crafting and moving legislation, such as the Lower Energy Costs Act, the Bringing Reliable Investment into Domestic Gulf Energy Production Act introduced by Rep. Garret Graves (R-LA), and the Restoring American Energy Dominance Act introduced by Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO). These bills will ensure long-term American energy dominance and allow us to increase our global energy market share, which will help our allies and drive down global emissions. 

House Republicans also continue to hear directly from those who are affected by the administration’s policies by holding field hearings in districts across the country. 

We have an incredible opportunity to get America back on track and regain global energy dominance, but that won’t happen by accident. We can no longer sit back and allow Biden and his administration to relinquish our energy security any longer. Enough is enough. It’s time to enact policies that support American jobs and energy dominance. The world is watching, Mr. President. 

Bruce Westerman is a U.S. representative for Arkansas and serves as the chairman of the House Committee on Natural Resources.