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Biden should end war on American energy

The Washington Times

Originally Published by The Washington Times on November 14, 2022

By Rep. Ashley Hinson and Rep. August Pfluger - - Monday, November 14, 2022


Over the past two years, President Biden and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have put up roadblock after roadblock to domestic energy production.

Their failed strategy has caused record-high gas prices, power shortages, and left America dependent on our adversaries for our energy. When OPEC+ recently announced its decision to cut oil production by more than 2 million barrels per day, Mr. Biden told reporters that the administration is “looking at alternatives” to reduce gas prices. As members of Congress representing two major energy-producing districts, we have a straightforward alternative for the president: Focus on domestically produced liquid transportation fuels.

When Mr. Biden took office in January 2021, Americans paid an average of $2.39 per gallon of gas. Now, those prices have skyrocketed over a dollar per gallon more. Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi’s solution for the American people could not be more out of touch; they want us all to purchase an electric vehicle (EV). Presuming that Americans who already cannot afford a $5 gallon of gas could instead spend $80,000 or more on a luxury electric vehicle is not a real plan of action — it is an alternate reality dreamed up by special interest groups.


The administration’s obsession with EVs, including Mr. Biden’s December 2021 executive order to require federal agencies to purchase exclusively “zero emission” vehicles by 2035, has caused real damage to American energy producers and consumers. In January, we warned the administration of the peril of ignoring the benefits of liquid motor fuels as the country faces economic turmoil, natural disasters straining our energy grid, and cybersecurity attacks on our critical fuel supply. Even so, the Biden administration doubled down on their failed energy policies that are further straining access to affordable energy for American families.

In August, the California Air Resources Board approved new regulations to ban the conventional internal combustion engine in the state by 2035. Ironically, not even a week later, the state government sent a notice out to EV owners to limit charging as their energy grid could not sustain EV charging. This failure should serve as a cautionary tale for other states, yet Mr. Biden says California is a model for the rest of the nation. The government should not discriminate against consumer fuel choices, especially when we are in a precarious energy position. Americans purchase vehicles based on a variety of factors, including availability, affordability, and personal lifestyle; they know what vehicle is best for their family. Not Washington.

Forcing EVs into the marketplace ignores major challenges: Approximately 90% of the minerals critical to EV batteries are controlled by Communist China, the environmental benefit of EVs is almost nonexistent when properly accounting for battery production and charging, distance restrictions on single-charge travel are unrealistic for rural communities, and they are incredibly expensive. A broad switch to EVs would only make America more dependent on the Chinese Communist Party, putting our biggest geopolitical competitor in the driver’s seat for American energy policy.

Costly and ineffective proposals, like those from California and the Biden administration, reject the proven benefits of the liquid fuels sector — investing in ever-cleaner liquid fuels, like biofuels and conventional fuels, provides immediate environmental benefits, supports our domestic economy, bolsters national security, and keeps costs low.

Energy dependence — $5-per-gallon gas, power shortages, and depleted emergency reserves — is a choice that Mr. Biden and Mrs. Pelosi made for all of us. As Americans remember and domestic producers can promise, it does not have to be this way.

The Biden administration is at a crossroads. They can expand California’s failed and expensive green energy mandates to the rest of the nation or invest in liquid fuels to restore American energy independence, make gas affordable again, and secure our energy future. If members from Iowa and Texas agree this is the best path forward, maybe there’s hope the Biden administration can too.

• Ashley Hinson serves as U.S. representative for Iowa’s 1st Congressional District since 2021. August Pfluger serves as U.S. representative for Texas’ 11th Congressional Cistrict.