WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding energy security:
“Washington Democrats’ inflation is slamming consumers with the highest prices in 40 years. One of the toughest blows has been the soaring cost of a trip to the gas station.
“A gallon of regular costs a full dollar more today than it did a year ago.
“So, after triggering an historic run of inflation and hammering American producers with anti-energy policies designed to restrict supply, our Democratic colleagues are suddenly talking about gas prices.
“And here’s their bold, creative plan: Temporarily suspending the gas tax. To the tune of 18 cents.
“Oh, and excluding diesel. A slap in the face to truckers and a further burden on the supply chain.
“Oh, and just to make the political games transparent, they want this to expire right after the midterms, as soon as the next Congress is sworn in.
“Democrats want to blow a $20 billion hole in highway funding so they can try to mask the effects of their own liberal policies on working Americans.
“They’ve spent an entire year waging a holy war on affordable American energy, and now they want to use a pile of taxpayers’ money to hide the consequences.
“As the senior Senator from West Virginia has pointed out, ‘people want their bridges and their roads, and we have an infrastructure bill we just passed this summer, and they want to take that all away. It just doesn’t make sense.’ He added that this half-baked proposal doesn’t make any more sense than the President’s pointless decision to take oil out of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve last year.
“President Clinton’s Treasury Secretary, Larry Summers, calls this stunt ‘shortsighted, ineffective, goofy and gimmicky.’
“Back in 2008, then-candidate Obama himself said this: ‘We’re arguing over a gimmick that would save you half a tank of gas over the course of the entire summer so that everyone in Washington can pat themselves on the back and say they did something. Well, let me tell you, this isn’t an idea designed to get you through the summer — it’s designed to get them through an election.’ That was Senator Obama in 2008.
“Look. If Democrats actually wanted to help the American people fill their tanks, they wouldn’t have been attacking American energy every way possible for an entire year.
“President Biden made killing Keystone XL his day one priority.
“Democrats voted in lockstep to endorse President Biden’s ban on new energy exploration on federal lands.
“At every turn, in every way, Democrats have made it harder to produce affordable and reliable American energy. Take any form of energy, and if people in San Francisco don’t find it fashionable, the Biden Administration has gone after it.
“Three years ago, under Republican policies, the United States became a net exporter of oil for the first time in more than 70 years. From a sheer mathematical perspective, for the first time since World War II, we were producing all that we needed and then some.
“Alas, a very different philosophy now controls Washington. In President Biden’s first year, our own oil imports from Russia hit a new all-time high.
“But as we speak, events in Eastern Europe are reminding the entire world that energy abundance is not just about families’ pocketbooks.
“There is a colossal strategic cost when our nation and our allies become economically dependent on countries who don’t much like us.
“Some of our European allies have spent many years voluntarily winding down reliable sources like nuclear and coal and refusing to tap into their own considerable natural gas reserves via fracking.
“Instead, they gambled on less-reliable sources and outsourced their perceived dirty work to places like Russia. Western European elites decided they wanted their energy production out of sight and out of mind.
“And Putin was all too happy to oblige them.
“Even after Russia invaded Georgia in 2008 and Ukraine in 2014, Germany willingly signed up for Putin’s Nord Stream 2 pipeline. It would negate Ukraine’s own pipelines and deny the money and leverage that Ukraine needs to keep Russia at bay. But Germany’s backed it.
“Meanwhile, Berlin put off building liquid natural gas terminals, instead choosing to rely on Russian gas and refusing to diversify its import options. I’m hopeful the latest indications that Germany is reconsidering this will prove accurate.
“The Biden Administration has scrambled to connect our at-risk allies with some energy resources from elsewhere.
“But it should not have taken this latest Kremlin misbehavior to remind the West that self-sufficiency matters.
“And Democrats have still not even flinched in their broader war against our own U.S. production.
“Glitzy summits in Paris and finger-wagging climate rhetoric are one way to approach energy policy.
“Actually exploring and developing abundant, affordable, and reliable domestic energy is another approach.
“And that’s the approach that will actually work.”
SOURCE Mitch McConnell