energy independence

Democrats Torpedo Legislation Intended To Recover Energy Independence

Democrats torpedoed legislation to regain energy independence just hours before Joe Biden pushed forward with his administration’s climate agenda.

The “American Energy Independence from Russia Act” introduced by the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s ranking member Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, (R-WA), was rejected mostly along partisan lines 221-202. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL) was the sole member of the House to cross the aisle, joining Democrats in opposition with objections over new leases along his state’s coast.

“America, not Russia, is the world’s number one energy producer,” Rep. Rodgers said on the House floor while advocating for her legislation. “We should act like it and lead. President Biden must restore American energy dominance and use energy resources to help Ukraine and Europe fight back.”

The bill’s partisan failure comes less than a week after Russia, which supplies more than 10% of the world’s oil, launched its invasion of Ukraine. Last year, the U.S. doubled its imports of Russian crude oil and took in more than 400,000 barrels on average daily in December, the last month for which data is available from the Energy Information Administration.

Oil and gas revenues, meanwhile, fund Russia’s war machine as the country’s largest exports, allowing President Vladimir Putin to weaponize his country’s monopoly on Western energy. Last year, Russia generated $119 billion from its energy resources, according to reporting by Reuters which cites Russia’s Finance Ministry.

According to the Department of Energy, the United States is will remain a net importer of oil under the Biden administration as the White House works to suppress domestic production in the name of the left’s radical climate change agenda. Biden reiterated his commitment to phase out fossil fuels and replace them with unreliable forms of renewable energy in his State of the Union address to Congress on Tuesday night despite the fact that his policies since taking office have driven energy costs to seven-year highs.

From The Federalist:

The enthusiastic forfeiture of American energy independence has removed a key economic lever to sanction Russia for its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, which has led to a humanitarian crisis as hundreds of thousands of displaced refugees have fled the violence.

Tuesday’s failed legislation sought to counter Russia’s energy influence and Ukrainian aggression by unleashing American production to lower oil prices and displace Russian imports. The bill reauthorized the Keystone XL Pipeline axed by Biden on his first day in office, which transported more than double the oil imported from Russia in December. The legislation also mandated the resumption of leases for oil and gas drilling on federal land. Biden quietly paused leases again last month through a legal maneuver, contesting rules governing the social cost of carbon calculations.

If Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers’ legislation had passed, the bill would have required the Biden administration to release a plan on energy security within 30 days and to replace oil reserves withdrawn from the emergency stockpile. On March 2nd, Biden announced that the U.S. would tap 30 million of its 590 million barrels of strategic petroleum reserves maintained for emergencies, which critics have denounced as a dangerous move amidst threats of international conflict. The reserves are authorized to hold up to 714 million barrels.

In November, Biden ordered the release of 60 million barrels from the stockpile ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday, which is about three days’ worth of daily oil consumption in the U.S., according to the Energy Information Administration.

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