Prior to the coronavirus pandemic, the U.S. was positioned as the leading oil and gas producer in the world — creating jobs and lowering prices for all Americans. Instead of supporting a rebound within the energy sector and other parts of our economy, the Biden Administration has facilitated a series of misguided actions, taking our country from a position of energy dominance to energy reliance.
From day one of Biden’s presidency, he implemented policies that have weakened America’s energy security and damaged our relationships with regional partners. These include signing executive orders to halt construction on the Keystone XL Pipeline, eliminating 11,000 American jobs, and recommitting our economy to the one-sided obligations of the controversial Paris Climate Accord.
In his first week in office, President Biden issued an Executive Order freezing new oil and gas leases on federal lands and offshore waters. Thankfully, the courts intervened to reject this move, citing limits to the president’s legal authority to do so. If carried out, this policy would have inflicted devastating effects on prices, resulting in about a $700 billion hit to the U.S. economy.
Lacking the authority to ban production via executive order, the Biden Administration redoubled its efforts by attaching provisions to the hyper-partisan reconciliation bill that will make energy supply shortages and price increases even more severe. This proposal, if signed into law, would exponentially increase taxes and fees on domestic production—driving prices for consumers higher. In addition to these efforts to stifle domestic production, the House proposal would terminate certain existing leases, which will intensify existing supply shortages.
The alarming consequences of the Biden Administration’s energy policies are now becoming apparent to Americans. Natural gas prices have hit their highest mark since 2008 and are now 21 percent higher than they were just one year ago. These price hikes will amount to roughly $175 higher heating costs for the average household.
In addition to financial consequences, President Biden’s energy policies are having negative effects on the energy workforce. The oil and gas industry has provided thousands of jobs and helped individuals in my hometown to put food on the table for their families. America’s energy workforce includes construction workers, geological surveyors, safety and compliance managers, truck drivers, and more. These jobs, which have a direct impact on Americans’ daily lives, are now in jeopardy.
As colder weather rolls in, these policies are increasing costs for consumers and weakening America’s energy security and independence. We must reverse this destructive course if we are to preserve American leadership on the world stage and find ourselves permanently reliant on foreign energy producers.
Congressman Troy Balderson represents Ohio’s 12th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.