By Jack Phillips
A nonprofit group representing energy industry workers said that House Republicans need to target the Biden administration’s climate-related policies that have hampered the development and extraction of fossil fuels.
“Since the start of his presidency, Biden has indulged in apocalyptic concerns about climate change at the expense of American energy production, workers, and consumers,” a report from Power the Future stated after Republicans secured a majority in the House following the midterm elections.
The White House’s policies around energy “have been disastrous,” the Power the Future report said, adding that “gasoline prices began a steady rise, reaching their highest levels ever recorded.” In June 2022, auto group AAA said the average price for regular gasoline hit $5.00 per gallon for the first time ever, although prices have dropped about $1.40 since then.
“Despite recent fortuitous declines, prices are still well over $1-a-gallon higher than they were at the beginning of the year, and 87 cents higher than this time last year,” it said, adding that the administration’s adherence to the left-wing ESG—environmental, social, and governance policy—has triggered a reduction in investments into fossil fuels.
With Republicans taking a majority in Congress, they “should not only conduct oversight—they should pursue pro-energy policies for the country. That is why Power The Future has compiled the following top ten solutions to end the nations’ ongoing energy crisis.”
Biden, meanwhile, has accused oil and energy companies of making record profits at the expense of American consumers. Several weeks ago, Biden said that oil and gas companies to use their record profits to lower costs for Americans and increase production, or pay a higher tax rate
The oil industry “has not met its commitment to invest in America and support the American people,” he said. They’re not just making a “fair return” he said, they’re making “profits so high it is hard to believe,” Biden said.
“Their profits are a windfall of war,” he said, of the conflict that is ravaging Ukraine, and they have a responsibility to act.
Biden said oil and gas companies should invest their profits in lowering costs for Americans and increasing production and that if they do not, he will urge Congress to consider requiring oil companies to pay tax penalties and face other restrictions.
The White House for months has been considering congressional proposals that could tax oil and gas producers’ profits as consumers struggle with higher energy prices. UK lawmakers, for example, in July approved a 25 percent windfall tax on oil and gas producers in the British North Sea that was expected to raise 5 billion pounds ($5.95 billion) in one year to help people struggling with soaring energy bills.
Global energy giants including Exxon Mobil and Chevron posted large quarterly profits weeks ago, benefiting from surging natural gas and fuel prices that have boosted inflation around the world, leading to fresh calls to further tax the sector.
However, Power the Future blamed Biden for the surge in gas and energy prices and made reference to several executive orders that he issued at the start of his presidency in January of last year. That includes suspending the Keystone XL pipeline, ending oil and gas leasing, new regulations targeting emissions, among other rules.
“Congress should pass legislation ending Biden’s illegal leasing moratorium, and require that any future moratorium must first be passed by Congress and signed by the President,” the report recommended. “It should also require a minimum number and geographic breadth of quarterly oil and gas lease sales, allow ‘Applications for Permits to Drill’ (APDs) to take effect 30 days from the date an application is filed, and rescind federal regulatory authority over hydraulic fracturing, deferring to state regulatory regimes.”
According to its website, Power the Future says it’s a 501C4 nonprofit. The organization is critical of environmental and climate alarmist groups, and it often promotes oil industry interests, its website shows.
Amos Hochstein, Biden’s special presidential coordinator, told CNBC earlier this month that the reportedly frosty relationship between the White House and oil companies is overhyped.
“I talk to the CEOs, other senior members of the administration talk to the CEOs on a regular basis,” Hochstein said. “People know that. I don’t think that’s the issue. The issue is this: we want them to increase their capex, increase investment,” he added.
“The price environment for the last year, over a year now, lends itself to investment,” Hochstein said. “So take those profits that you’re making. We’re not against profits. What we do want, and the president said this last week—take those profits and invest them.”
Hochstein claimed that the U.S. is “in a war,” referring to the Russia–Ukraine war, and asserted that oil companies “can do more to increase production.”
Reuters contributed to this report.