By Christi Craddick
Midland Reporter-Telgram, Jul 2, 2022
There was a time when phrases like “record-breaking inflation” and “skyrocketing prices” would be shocking to see in American headlines. Today, unfortunately, these terms are becoming commonplace, even ordinary, across the country. Under previous administrations, the dire situation facing the American people would provoke swift, meaningful and substantive action. President Biden, however, is doubling down on the destructive policies he campaigned on and put in place, the same policies that are causing this crisis in the first place.
Indeed, instead of directing his efforts on implementing real-world solutions, President Biden has turned his back on the American people, both metaphorically through his dangerous policy decisions and literally through a planned trip to Saudi Arabia. It’s clear that instead of supporting American energy production that promotes high-paying American jobs and relieves worried American families, Biden is focusing his efforts on placating Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC.
This represents an egregious lack of common-sense leadership.
As a member of the Railroad Commission – the statewide agency at the forefront of safe, responsible energy production that has made Texas a global leader in oil and gas – I can tell you first-hand that if President Biden were genuinely serious about getting inflation under control and easing the immense strain on household budgets, there are five steps the White House can take to support Americans – not foreign interests. Immediate action on these points will stop the bleeding and reverse the terrifying trajectory of an American economy that is currently strangling millions of families across this country.
Drop the rhetoric. Criticizing American energy production while begging foreign nations to increase their oil supply is illogical, unpatriotic and hypocritical. The administration must provide producers here at home with the tools they need to grow jobs and increase global oil and gas supply and cease the president’s misguided attacks on an industry that can help us address rising inflation.
Restart leasing on federal lands. Higher fuel costs are increasing prices at the highest rate in decades and that has a direct impact on the price of all goods and services. Rural families who face long drives to get to their jobs or receive medical care are being forced to make unthinkable choices. Scaling down America’s production ability at the same time is destroying people’s livelihoods. Resuming leasing will allow domestic oil and gas producers to ramp up production and relieve the pressure on supply chains by pumping more supply into the domestic and global markets.
Restart the Keystone XL pipeline and approve the backlog of pipeline permits. It only makes sense to do more business with our allies and friends, like Canada, instead of naively trusting countries like Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to do what is in our best interest. Depending on these countries threatens our national security and will only prolong the skyrocketing inflationary trend in the American economy.
Stop the regulatory assault. Adding injuries to insults, the Biden administration continues to pile on punitive and unnecessary rules and regulations that seek to drive oil and gas production down. Instead of promoting the idea that the energy industry is to blame for high prices, the administration must prioritize cost reduction through common-sense regulatory relief, savings that can be passed on to American consumers and international energy importers like Ukraine.
Finally, visit Texas – not Riyadh. Texas is America’s largest oil producing state, and President Biden should see with his own eyes the advanced technologies that make our industry clean and efficient. He should sit down with Texas workers who are ready to ramp up production and meet the energy and economic needs of the country and the world. This would send the important message that the solution is here at home – not overseas.
So, President Biden, cancel your trip to Saudi Arabia; we can’t afford to waste the jet fuel. Instead, instruct your bureaucracy to implement these recommendations and provide meaningful economic relief to families across the country. At the pump and in the grocery store, prices are out of control and Americans need relief. Use these tools to end the nonsensical attack on American oil and gas and give all of us the ability to recover.