ENR Republicans to Biden: Restoring America’s Energy Dominance

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03.02.22

Today, every Republican member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources (ENR) Committee sent a letter to President Biden outlining 10 steps he and Congress can take to regain America’s energy dominance.

The letter was signed by US Senator John Barrasso (R-WY), a ranking member of the ENR, as well as the senses. Jim Risch (R-ID), Mike Lee (R-UT), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Lankford (R-OK), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS) and Roger Marshall (R-KS). Senator Cynthia Lummis (R-WY) also joined the letter.

The letter notes that “bringing America to power will increase the security of our nation and our allies.” It offers 10 sensible steps to restore America’s energy dominance and blunt the geopolitical energy ambitions of Russia and China.

Read the full letter here and below.

Dear Mr. President,

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine laid bare a broken US energy policy. It’s time to change course and restore America to its dominant role in global energy.

It’s no secret that we opposed your approach to American energy production. Your administration’s emphasis on ending the production and use of traditional US energy sources has contributed to soaring inflation. It has also left the United States and our allies vulnerable to malicious maneuvers by Vladimir Putin. It’s amazing that as Putin’s Russia was about to engulf Ukraine, your climate envoy, John Kerry, said, “I hope President Putin helps us stay on track by regarding what we need to do for the climate.

You set the tone on your first day in office by killing the Keystone XL pipeline. This sent an unquestionably strong signal to the markets that your administration will oppose investment in US oil and gas projects. The Keystone decision and others that you and your administration have made continue to add to market uncertainty and contribute to the underinvestment we have seen in the oil and gas sector. Rising energy costs and the resulting inflation have hurt American families and our economy. These decisions have also weakened our ability to deal with the immediate crisis in Ukraine and to support our allies in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Giving the green light to Putin’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline was another blunder. Our policy should be to make Europe less dependent on Russian energy, not more. American energy should be part of this diversification effort, but your administration has made it even more difficult.

It’s time for your administration to develop a new approach that embraces America’s energy abundance. Energy produced in the United States is not only good for our economy and our international competitiveness. Making American energy dominant will increase the security of our nation and our allies.

Mr. Speaker, releasing crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or offering a gasoline tax “holiday,” as some have suggested, would do little in the short term and nothing in the long term. What is needed is an approach that will get us through this energy crisis and equip us to prevent future energy crises.

Here are 10 things we can do to spur greater American energy production, blunt the geopolitical energy ambitions of Russia and China, and restore America’s dominant role in global energy:

  • Direct the Department of the Interior to conduct further sales of oil and natural gas leases on federal lands and waters. There hasn’t been a single lease sale on federal lands since you imposed a ban in violation of federal law. No other major oil producing nation is closing its own reserves to production. Neither does the United States.
  • Order the Securities and Exchange Commission to suspend a rule intended to improve “environmental, social and governance” disclosures. These are sure to depress equity valuations and increase the cost of debt financing, making it harder for energy companies to raise capital and produce US energy. The consequence will be more inflation.
  • Accelerate the approval of liquefied natural gas exports to our NATO allies and other strategic partners where it would further U.S. national security interests. Diversifying supplies of this fuel to our allies will make them and us safer.
  • Remove restrictions on international financing of natural gas and coal-fired power plants. Expanding access to the safe, reliable, and affordable energy needed for development is in America’s geostrategic interest. For most countries, this means natural gas and coal. Abandoning US support for such projects will encourage developing countries to pursue projects with partners like China, to our detriment.
  • Order the Department of Energy to begin purchases of domestically produced uranium for a strategic uranium reserve. Over 90% of the uranium we use is imported. Almost half of the uranium we import comes from Russia and its allies. Nuclear energy is the largest emission-free source of energy. Maintaining a secure supply of uranium should be a priority.
  • Reform and streamline sites and regulations that unnecessarily delay or even completely halt vital energy infrastructure projects. It shouldn’t take years for federal agencies to approve projects under the National Environmental Policy Act.
  • Encourage the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission not to erect new hurdles for gas pipeline approvals. Making more US natural gas available to US consumers will reduce costs at home and increase the security of our electric grid. Making more US natural gas available to Europe, which you have supported, cannot be done without additional infrastructure.
  • Withdraw your executive order canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and approve existing and future cross-border oil and gas permits. Canada is the largest source of US crude oil imports and an important friend and ally. Supporting energy trade with Canada will send the right signal to investors that America is once again open for business.
  • Work with our European partners on the development of the continent’s shale resources. In addition to diversifying energy supplies, Europe needs to do a better job of developing its own significant shale resources. Putin has funded anti-fracking campaigns across Europe. They worked. We need to dispel Russian-funded myths about this American technology.
  • Accelerate the approval of national mines, including mines on federal lands, that would produce critical minerals and other import materials such as copper for which there is growing demand. The supply chains of many of these materials are dominated by China and Russia and often marred by human rights abuses.

Last month, before Russia invaded Ukraine, you said you would “work like the devil” to protect American families and businesses from rising energy prices and inflation. However, we believe it is in the national interest of the United States that you work as the moderate president you claim to be, walk down the aisle and pursue the sensitive and critical steps outlined above with us.

Mr. Speaker, America is the world’s energy superpower. It’s time we started doing it again.

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