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Photo: Sunrise in Texas

Top congressmen turn up heat on administration’s energy policies

February 11, 2021

Three Congressmen braved Midland’ freezing cold Wednesday to turn up the heat on the Biden administration’s energy policies.

Congressman August Pfluger, whose 11th District includes Midland and Odessa, was joined by House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy of California and House Natural Resources Committee Ranking Member Bruce Westerman of Arkansas to tour a Diamondback Energy drilling rig.

Following the tour, Pfluger told media there was one message from the tour: “Don’t mess with Texas, don’t mess with our jobs, don’t mess with our livelihoods, don’t mess with our energy independence.”

Without what those on the drilling rig behind him do, Pfluger said, “this nation would be cold, dark and hungry.”

What those on that drilling rig and others like it have done, he continued, is lift a billion people around the globe out of poverty by providing access to reliable, affordable, clean energy.

McCarthy decried the fact that with the stroke of a pen signing executive orders to cancel the Keystone XL Pipeline, President Biden had eliminated 1 million jobs that included not only the union workers involved with the pipeline but ancillary jobs at hotels and restaurants.

In the Permian Basin, he said the moratorium on oil and gas leasing and drilling permits on federal lands would result in lost jobs and housing foreclosures. Replacing them “with solar panels doesn’t add up,” he said.

“What’s worse is it makes our adversaries stronger and us less safe,” he said, adding that it puts money in the pockets of adversaries while costing US jobs.

Beyond the jobs, McCarthy said, it is an issue of affordability because the cost of energy is part of the price of everything consumers buy.

Westerman commented that while the moratorium on federal lands does not directly impact Texas as it does New Mexico, “you better believe they’re coming after you.”

He also noted that domestic energy has its environmental benefits. “We all breathe the air, we all drink the water. All of us want clean air, clean water and to make the environment better. Conservation comes from ‘conservative’ and a real conservative means being a good steward of our resources. We can have a clean environment and a strong economy; they’re not mutually exclusive.”

The three called on President Biden to reinstate the Keystone XL Pipeline and lift the moratorium on oil and gas activity on federal lands. McCarthy said there were a number of bills proposed – including one by Pfluger – to support oil and gas activity, and he called on Democrats to join Republicans in supporting the industry and its efforts to provide reliable, affordable, plentiful energy with a lower environmental footprint than nations that would be expected to supply energy to the US.

Issues:Energy