Upton Delivers Opening Remarks on Biden’s Energy Crisis
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Energy Subcommittee Republican Leader U.S. Rep. Fred Upton, R-St. Joseph, delivered opening remarks at today’s Energy Subcommittee hearing with Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm for the Department of Energy’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget.
Excerpts and highlights from his prepared remarks:
BIDEN’S ENERGY CRISIS
“Mr. Chairman, we are all deeply troubled by Russia’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine.
“It is terrible to witness Russia committing genocide in Ukraine, while Europe is held hostage by their dependence on Russian oil and gas.
“Under President Biden’s leadership, American energy production has fallen while gasoline prices have reached record highs.
“Inflation is surging out of control. People are suffering, having to choose between putting food on the table or gas in the car.
“Republicans have been sounding the alarm.
“We urged President Biden to impose crippling sanctions on Russia’s energy industry and stop the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
“These steps are essential to cut Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.
“We have also put forth legislation that would restore America’s energy dominance and global leadership.
“America is the world’s leading producer of oil and gas, and we should act like it. We can produce significantly more energy than we do today and unleash the vast resources under our feet.
“We can also help our allies in Europe and Ukraine by sending shipments of American oil and LNG to replace Russian supplies.”
DOE SHOULD LEAD BY EXAMPLE
“The Department of Energy has an important role to play.
“As the Secretary of Energy, your primary responsibility is strengthening and protecting the nation’s energy security.
“In order to maximize America’s energy abundance, we must modernize our energy infrastructure, restart energy leases on Federal lands, build more pipelines and LNG export facilities, and strengthen our supply chains so they are more resilient to shocks.
“The Department of Energy should lead by example.
“DOE should consider issuing waivers to streamline the permitting process for LNG export facilities and to send the signal that U.S. will be a stable and reliable supplier of natural gas for many decades to come.
“Our European allies need more certainty to push back on Russia and build new import facilities and pipeline interconnections.
“Meanwhile, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, an independent agency within DOE, is needlessly postponing decisions on dozens of projects by adding months to the already rigorous environmental review process.
“Making matters worse, FERC has injected tremendous uncertainty in the process by throwing out decades of bipartisan precedent and attempting to change natural gas policy in ways that contradict the Natural Gas Act.
“I intend to use today’s hearing to learn about the steps DOE plans to take to encourage more American energy production and lower prices for consumers.”
BECOMING DEPENDENT ON THE CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY
“While the Administration’s talking points appear to recognize the need to increase American oil and gas production and lessen our dependence on China for critical materials, I am concerned by the complete lack of follow through.
“The White House announced a goal to increase LNG exports to Europe; however, they provided no details on the regulatory reforms needed to make it a reality.
“The White House also announced a plan to utilize the Defense Production Act for critical minerals, while EPA continues to make it virtually impossible to construct and permit any new mines in the United States.
“We need real solutions.
“America has the world's richest supply of natural resources, we have the enduring spirit of innovation, and we have the most rigorous environmental and labor standards.”
A POSITIVE DEVELOPMENT
“On a positive note, many of us were pleased with the announcement that our Ambassador to Greece, Geoffrey Pyatt, who is departing this week is going to go to become the new Assistant Secretary of State for Energy Resources.
“He’s a career ambassador. Under Obama to Ukraine, under Trump and Biden to Greece, he well understands the critical need to ensure that our European allies have the proper energy resources to wean themselves off Russian imports.
“Let’s lead by example. Get the government out of the way and unleash America’s energy abundance.”