As summer draws to a close, Mississippians are feeling more pain at the pump with gas prices continuing to soar. After starting the year near $2 per gallon, gas in Mississippi has now reached an average of $2.78. The same pattern is occurring across the country, with national gas prices surging by 40 percent this year alone. This additional cost is impacting hardworking American families who are recovering from the pandemic and depend on their cars and trucks to access work and daily necessities.
These rising gas prices are a direct result of President Biden’s energy agenda. Since taking office, Mr. Biden has systematically dismantled President Trump’s policies that helped the U.S. become energy independent. In his first week, President Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline project, which would have brought oil to American refineries and supported up to 11,000 jobs. Later, he cut off expansion of a tremendous source of American oil and natural gas by suspending new drilling leases on federal lands and waters. He also rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, which will kill energy jobs while doing little to protect the environment.
Democrats in Congress have plans to escalate this assault on American energy. Their massive tax-and-spending proposal would include “Green New Deal” style tax hikes and other restrictions on traditional energy sources, which would likely result in higher energy costs for American households.
These decisions will have lasting consequences for our energy producers, the jobs the industry supports, and all American families that depend on traditional power sources.
Biden Wants Foreign Oil, Not American Oil
Even as President Biden cracks down on American production, he is actively encouraging our foreign competitors to boost their own oil output. Earlier this month, in response to rising gas prices, the President went hat in hand to OPEC+, a revamped cartel of oil-producing nations that now includes Russia and Venezuela. Mr. Biden is asking that they step up their own oil production to lower gas prices in the U.S.
It is absurd that American consumers should be at the mercy of a group like OPEC+. Before President Biden took office, the United States had become the world’s largest oil producer thanks to groundbreaking new drilling technologies, such as fracking. In 2019, for the first time since 1973, we exported more petroleum than we imported. This tremendous feat helped to insulate America from supply shortages abroad and protect against disruptive swings in oil prices. Now, President Biden has surrendered this advantage and made us more dependent on foreign countries for energy.
Republicans Fight to Protect U.S. Energy
Republicans are taking every step we can to protect America’s energy security. Recently, I joined 23 senators in urging the President to reverse his request to OPEC+ for more oil. The United States should not be begging foreign countries for energy when we have enough resources to meet the need. I also joined a letter asking the Biden Administration to lighten the burden of the Renewable Fuel Standard, a regulation that threatens the future of many refineries in America.
Republicans were also successful in passing a pro-energy amendment to the Democrats’ budget proposal. The amendment, sponsored by Senator Kevin Cramer of North Dakota, would prevent the Biden Administration from banning fracking, which has helped us achieve energy independence and lower gas prices. Republicans will continue to make every effort to mitigate the worst of President Biden’s anti-American energy agenda.