As President Biden travels to the COP26 Summit in Scotland to talk about environmental issues with other global leaders, I’ve been reflecting on America’s energy production, consumption, and carbon footprint.
It’s remarkable to think that during the Trump administration, America rose to worldwide energy dominance, not only becoming the global leader in oil and natural gas production, but becoming energy independent for the first time since the 1950s.
Wyoming was a proud contributor in that effort. As the country’s biggest net energy supplier, we have provided our neighboring states with the energy they need to thrive.
The COVID-19 pandemic demonstrated just how important it is to produce key resources like energy here in the United States. Sadly, that is not the lesson that President Biden learned. In the name of environmentalism, he canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and banned new oil and gas drilling and leasing on federal lands.
He did this while approving the Russian Nord Stream II pipeline, which gives Russia greater influence over the European Union and the E.U.’s energy consumption.
This is not only shortsighted from a geopolitical perspective, it’s even bad from an environmental one. President Biden’s own Energy Secretary has called Russian gas "the dirtiest form of natural gas on Earth."
Honestly, the more environmentally friendly solution would have been to ship U.S. natural gas to the E.U. In 2019, Russian natural gas flowing into the E.U. was shown to produce 22 percent more greenhouse gas emissions than European coal. By contrast, U.S. natural gas delivered to the E.U. produces up to 56 percent less.
Think about that! America’s clean energy production could benefit the U.S. energy sector and limit Russia’s influence over former satellite countries, all while reducing carbon emissions.
Instead, President Biden penalized North American energy production while boosting Russia and Vladimir Putin.
And while President Biden is hobnobbing with global leaders, congressional Democrats are debating new ways to hamstring our economy in the name of their green agenda. Democrats’ reckless tax and spending proposal would not only drive our country further in debt and add fuel to the inflation fire already devastating America’s families, but it would cement huge parts of the unpopular Green New Deal as the law of the land.
While we’re debating this in Washington, gas prices rose to over $7 a gallon in some places in the United States. The Biden administration bragged about Americans saving 16 cents on Fourth of July BBQs, but this year’s Thanksgiving dinner could be the most expensive in history. And home energy prices are rising as well with winter just around the corner.
Sadly, instead of responding to rising costs by undoing his actions and encouraging greater domestic production, President Biden asked Middle Eastern oil producers to increase their output.
The most frustrating part about all of this is that if President Biden paused to look at the facts, he could bring real solutions to Scotland, instead of further hurting Americans.
America is already reducing our carbon emissions. North America is going to become the global leader in renewable energy over the next decade or so, and since 2000 the United States has had the largest decline in emissions of any country.
Wyoming has played a proud part in that effort. We have doubled our wind power since 2009. We have the third-largest wind power generating capacity in the U.S.
Our traditional energy sources, coal, oil and natural gas, are some of the cleanest burning in the world. By powering our nation, and nations around the globe, we are decreasing our carbon footprint.
Instead of undermining our own economy and allowing our adversaries to surpass us, President Biden should focus his efforts on helping other countries catch up.
Right now, the Biden administration has put us on a dangerous path. It will cost thousands of American jobs and trillions of taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, countries like China, Russia, and Iran will continue to pollute.
I’m happy at any time to sit down with Democrats and talk about real solutions. But the discussion in Scotland, this administration’s actions, and their tax and spend plan, will only make things worse.