Graves urges Biden to reverse stand on domestic oil production

Staff Report

U.S. Congressman Garret Graves (South Louisiana) joined colleagues in raising strong concerns with the Biden Administration’s policies to use foreign energy sources instead of domestic energy production to offset the rising gasoline prices Americans are paying at the pump.

U.S. Rep. Garrett Graves

Recently, the Biden Administration requested the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and 10 other oil-exporting nations such as Iran, Libya, Nigeria, Venezuela and Russia, known collectively as OPEC to produce more foreign oil to fight rising gas prices for American consumers. Graves believes American energy production is the solution.

“We urge you to reverse course and embrace an American solution by rescinding Executive Orders and other policies designed by your Administration to reduce access to our country’s oil and natural gas resources, which reduces the global competitiveness of American companies and workers,” he and five other Republican House members said in a letter to the President.  “Unfortunately, your recent request of OPEC is consistent with a number of anti-American energy policies that your Administration and congressional Democrats are pushing, including: canceling the Keystone XL pipeline; proposing to ban domestic fracking; declaring a moratorium on oil and natural gas leases on Federal lands and waters; and changing tax law to harm domestic production.” 

Biden’s 2022 Fiscal Year budget request for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers affirms what Graves described as “an anti-American approach.”

“One of three ‘key objectives’ in the USACE budget request is ‘not funding work’ that ‘lowers the cost of production’ or ‘lowers the cost of consumption’ of fossil fuels. In other words, a key objective of his Administration is to prohibit American energy resources from being used to lower energy costs for American consumers,” he said. “Further, his Administration and congressional Democrats are advocating for budget reconciliation legislation that will ensure increased gas prices and already out-of-control inflation for American families. In effect, these various actions will result in dependence on OPEC nations to meet our, and the world’s, energy needs.”

“Currently, his administration’s reputation with regard to clean, affordable energy is headed in a similar direction as the Afghanistan debacle — a strategic failure where situational reality was set aside in favor of political expediency,” Graves said. “Unlike Afghanistan, there is an opportunity to fix this mess before it turns into a permanent crisis.”

The solution to the oil crisis can be found on the homefront,” he said.

“The United States has a robust supply of resources, infrastructure, and skilled labor, and we should work together to maintain our energy independence and increase our global competitiveness,” Graves said. “Under President Trump, America became a net exporter of energy for the first time in a generation, and for the first time in 35 years, the United States imported zero crude oil from Saudi Arabia.”

During Hurricane Ida’s immediate aftermath, Graves joined Whip Steve Scalise in calling upon Secretary Deb Haaland of the U.S. Department of the Interior to help get offshore energy production online as quickly as possible. At the time, they noted this would help to avoid gasoline price spikes, address fuel shortages and reduce our dependence upon foreign energy.

After Ida’s landfall, Graves requested immediate assistance to relieve fuel supply shortages. The U.S. Secretary of Energy announced on Sept. 2, they would utilize the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to relieve fuel supply shortages in Louisiana and other areas of the Gulf Coast that were hit by Hurricane Ida.