One of the first actions of the ruling Biden administration was to shut down the Keystone XL pipeline – shutting down domestic power generation, forcing thousands of American energy workers out of their jobs and signaling a radical change in energy policy to the American people.
Fast forward a year later and the global uproar generated by Russia’s war in Ukraine has sent shockwaves across the globe, with noticeable effects here in the United States. Gasoline prices – already on the rise due to growing and unsustainable government spending – soared even higher, reaching nearly $4.50/gallon in my district of North Central Florida. The Biden administration’s reliance on Russia for oil has exacerbated the problem the president has created. Many Americans are now asking a question with what should be a seemingly simple answer: why aren’t we producing more energy at home?
The facts are impossible to ignore: the Biden administration has delayed or blocked issuance of permits needed for US energy development, revoked and denied mining permits, and added unnecessary layers of bureaucracy and paperwork to permitting decisions. It is clear that this administration plans to fight oil and gas development in the United States at all times. With no new offshore leases issued since President Biden took office, we continue to lose ground in boosting our production capabilities.
Tenants have named additional parcels for sale needed to expand the leases currently held, but until federal lands are open for business, it is impossible to generate confidence and investment in U.S. power generation without certainty about what the future holds.
The Biden administration continues to push for political electrification as the answer to the problems currently facing the American people, but the results are not immediate. As renewable technologies develop rapidly, we expect them to form an increasing part of our home energy portfolio in the future. Although current levels of generation from solar, wind, hydro and beyond are not sufficient to meet today’s challenges, I look forward to the day when it can. For now, however, internal combustion engines (ICEs) will continue to be an important part of transportation for many years to come. We must support ICE vehicles and electric vehicles, listening to consumer demand and prioritizing consumer affordability.
When it comes to natural gas, for example, it’s one of the cleanest fuels available, accounting for just 6% of US emissions when used for residential purposes. Natural gas also saves the customer over $1,000 per year, which demonstrates the value of this energy source. Renewable natural gas (RNG) – a developing technology capturing biomethane – is on the rise and presents a valuable opportunity for increased use. Natural gas vehicles are also increasingly available, offering cost effective emissions reduction and relative fuel price stability.
In March, I introduced the Small-Scale LNG Access Act, a bill to support domestic production and export of liquefied natural gas (LNG). The United States is a world leader in LNG production and investments in this vital resource will support American jobs and foster American energy independence, generating another useful solution to the challenges we face today. While neither my legislation nor permit issuances are likely to be taken over by the Biden administration, I will continue to advocate for solutions for the American people, our energy workforce, and price relief in the midst of a period difficult for consumers nationwide.
The truth is that the United States was energy independent and can be again, by tapping into our rich resources. With the cleanest, safest, and most efficient production practices in the world, the United States stands ready to fight record inflation and provide the American people with much-needed energy aid. We can overcome Russia’s global energy grip and unleash our domestic energy potential to meet our own needs and those of our allies.
Kat Cammack represents Florida’s 3rd District.