March 15, 2022
By Gov. Rick Perry
Russia’s act of total war on the Ukrainian people should have been a clear wake-up call for President Biden. Instead, he has mistakenly viewed this crisis as an opportunity to double down on reckless policies that cede American energy independence and transform the national security landscape for the worse.
President Biden’s announcement of a U.S. ban on Russian energy imports is a good first step, but it is, unfortunately, more symbolic than punitive. And despite what Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., wishes us to believe, it is not “American fossil fuel companies” that have “helped fuel Putin’s despicable war,” it is the energy policies of President Biden.
On day one, the Biden administration signaled to the world that American energy leadership was approaching a turning point. His administration revoked permitting for the Keystone XL pipeline, paused new leases on federal lands, and began to issue a flurry of executive orders and policy directives that suffocate new production.
The consequences of Biden’s lead-from-behind approach are clear. Americans now face an economic crisis not seen in forty years as inflation continues to mount, now reaching 7.9%. Oil prices continue their volatility well above the $100 mark.
For those wondering how vital American energy is to our economic well-being, we should note that one-quarter of inflationary growth this past year is the result of gasoline prices.
Instead of unleashing the benefits of our vast resources and pausing his aggressive pursuit of climate policy at all cost, Biden has preferred to court the resources of authoritarian rogue states like Iran and Venezuela.
Biden must finally fess up to his mistakes in the energy sector and roll back his policies stifling American energy security.
The Biden administration is paralyzed by ineptitude, and out over its skis when it comes to understanding energy market complexities. Despite what the progressive pundits want us to believe, it is not the American people, but the far-removed bureaucrats in Biden’s administration that are failing to understand the current crisis.
Biden’s recklessness now has American diplomats flirting with yet more sanction waivers for our adversaries, a move that would offer billions in annual revenue to Iran and Venezuela instead of the American people.
Make no mistake, these sanctioned nations have not cleaned up their act, far from it. The only difference is that President Biden has painted himself into a corner.
Venezuela, a prolific human rights abuser, and authoritarian regime bent on undermining U.S. interests, has long had economic ties with other U.S. adversaries, such as China and Iran. Most notably President Nicolas Maduro’s regime is propped up by its oil-for-loans program with the Chinese Communist Party and engages in illicit trade with Iran’s energy sector.
Iran, an even more notorious human rights abuser and state sponsor of terrorism, is likely to be the latest recipient of President Biden’s goodwill tour. As a part of rushed efforts to secure an international agreement on Iran’s nuclear ambitions, currently negotiated with the likes of China and Russia, sanctions on energy exports are likely to be lifted.
Is this what a “foreign policy for the middle class” looks like? The Biden administration should be pursuing policies that empower American workers, and prioritize American families, not the pockets of nefarious dictators like Ayatollah Khamenei or President Maduro.
President Biden must finally fess up to his mistakes in the energy sector and roll back his policies stifling American energy security. Unfortunately, even if Biden were to experience a revelation of truth, his past blunders have locked in higher-than-usual prices for the near term.
However, the Biden administration can act now to ensure this crisis does not continue to grow. This means halting the regulatory assault on energy financing, development and production and restarting federal leases for new oil and gas development.
Press secretary Jen Psaki’s repeated claims of 9,000 unused federal leases ignore the implications of an administration that undermines industry efforts through regulatory hurdles. The actions of the Biden administration offer only uncertainty, particularly for financial backers of resource development.
His administration must also act to jumpstart energy infrastructure projects. President Biden has the tools to reauthorize the Keystone XL pipeline, which is not simply a “delivery mechanism,” but rather thousands of jobs and 830,000 barrels of oil a day that our refineries need. The same goes for the Dakota Access Pipeline, which now faces a new volley of environmental challenges.
Biden also has concrete projects awaiting approval that will come to the aid of our allies, such as the six LNG export authorizations that have been held by the Department of Energy for over a year. These actions will send the signal that American energy leadership is back.
We shouldn’t be rewarding Russia when it continues to act as a rogue state, and we shouldn’t pursue policies that hurt American consumers in the short term. And we shouldn’t have Washington running to places like Venezuela looking for a helping hand. Our answers are in Houston and Calcasieu, not Caracas and Tehran.