08.17.21

Cassidy, Inhofe, Colleagues Condemn Biden Choosing OPEC Over American Energy Workers

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Bill Cassidy, M.D. (R-LA), James Inhofe (R-OK), and 22 Senate Republicans condemned President Biden’s decision to beg the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost oil production to combat skyrocketing gas prices instead of putting Americans back to work. The senators emphasized the need to support cleaner American energy production over relying on foreign oil and creating jobs overseas.

“It is astonishing that your Administration is now seeking assistance from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply and reserves to increase output which would reduce gasoline prices,” wrote the senators.

“We agree with your intent to reduce the cost of gas for hardworking Americans, but your domestic policy agenda has proven to have the opposite effect and continues to threaten American jobs and family budgets,” continued the senators.

In addition to Cassidy, the letter was signed by U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Mike Braun (R-IN), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Ted Cruz (R-TX), Steve Daines (R-MT), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Mike Lee (R-UT), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Mike Rounds (R-SD), Dan Sullivan (R-AL), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Roger Wicker (R-MS) and Todd Young (R-IN).

Background:
Cassidy has criticized President Biden’s decisions to prioritize foreign energy production over U.S. jobs in the past, including the administration allowing Russia’s Nord Steam II pipeline to continue while simultaneously killing the Keystone XL pipeline, and the president’s previous pleas with OPEC to increase oil production.

Read the full letter here or below.

Dear Mr. President,

We are surprised by the recent announcement that the White House is calling on the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies to increase oil production in response to rising gasoline prices. Since your first day in office, your Administration has pursued policies that have restricted and threatened American oil and gas development, which has proved to be devastating for American workers and consumers. It is astonishing that your Administration is now seeking help from an international oil cartel when America has sufficient domestic supply to increase output which would reduce gas prices.

Last month, gas prices reached a seven year high and are forty-percent higher than they were on January 1, 2021. It is no surprise how we got here. Your Administration’s approach to domestic oil and gas development has been contrary to an “America First” energy agenda and reinforces a reliance on foreign oil. For example, you have rejoined America into the radical, job-killing Paris Climate Agreement, cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline and its associated 10,000 jobs, imposed an apparently indefinite pause on oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands and waters, and proposed increasing taxes on those engaged in oil and gas development. These policies, in conjunction with runaway inflation, are increasing the price of gas and do not serve American interests. On the contrary, these policies threaten our energy and national security by making us more reliant on foreign nations for our energy needs.

We agree with your intent to reduce the cost of gas for hardworking Americans, but your domestic policy agenda has proven the opposite effect and continues to threaten American jobs and family budgets. We urge your Administration to revise its regulatory and legislative priorities as it relates to domestic oil and gas development. The best and most effective way to reduce the cost of gas at the pump is to unleash clean, affordable and reliable American energy.

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