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Thune: Biden’s War on American Energy Continues

“In his three years in office, the president has built an energy record that threatens to do long-term damage to America’s energy security.”

February 27, 2024

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WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today spoke on the Senate floor about President Biden’s latest attack on American energy and his decision to suspend liquefied natural gas export approvals. Thune noted that the Biden administration’s radical climate agenda threatens to do long-term damage to America’s energy security and could make Americans’ energy less reliable and less affordable.

Thune’s remarks below (as prepared for delivery):

“Mr. President, President Biden’s war on American energy continues.

“Last month, in a move apparently made in part to satisfy climate activists on TikTok (and win a few votes in the upcoming election), the administration announced a pause on liquefied natural gas export approvals – threatening both domestic energy projects and the energy security of our allies.

“Mr. President, it is difficult to count all the ways in which the president’s export approval pause is a terrible decision.

“But let’s start with the national security concerns it presents.

“At a time when Russia and Iran are flexing their power – with Russia now entering the third year of its unjustified war of aggression in Ukraine, and with Iranian-backed militias threatening shipping and security in the Middle East – the president’s action threatens to enrich these two countries by increasing demand for their natural gas.

“And Russia and Iran are ready to oblige.

“Russia is currently constructing a new liquefied natural gas export facility, and Iran is working on one as well.

“It is ironic that as the president talks about the importance of opposing Putin, he is taking a step that could actually strengthen Putin’s hand by increasing global dependence on Russian energy.

“Europe, of course, struggled to wean itself off Russian energy when Russia invaded Ukraine, and American exports played a significant role in replacing Russian imports.

“Now President Biden’s decision is calling American reliability as an export partner into question – and, as a recent article noted, ‘is spooking Europe’s fragile energy industry.’

“And let’s be very clear, Mr. President:

“The president’s export pause, ostensibly taken for climate-related reasons, will do nothing to reduce global emissions.

“In fact, it runs the risk of increasing global emissions by pushing other countries to import natural gas from less environmentally friendly exporters – or continue to rely on other forms of energy, like coal.

“Russian natural gas production, for example, is nowhere near as environmentally responsible as American natural gas production.

“And we have nothing to gain and much to lose environmentally by pushing countries to import gas from places like Russia.

“Finally, of course, there’s the risk that this decision will undermine the strength of the U.S. energy sector – something we should be seeking to build up both for the jobs it provides Americans and because of its ability to strengthen U.S. influence globally.

“Mr. President, President Biden’s decision to pause liquefied natural gas export approvals is of course just one in a string of decisions he’s made throughout his presidency that imperil future domestic production and threaten our nation’s energy security.

“Since the day he took office, President Biden has pursued an agenda that is hostile to conventional sources of energy – namely, oil and natural gas – and he has done everything he can to push our nation into a Green New Deal regime that our current energy system simply cannot cope with.

“At the top of the president’s agenda has been a determination to force Americans to adopt electric vehicles on a broad scale within the next decade – a deeply concerning move, because our supply chain and electric grid are nowhere near capable of supporting that kind of a widespread transition to electric vehicles.

“In fact, our nation’s energy grid, which has been stretched by increased demand and the move away from conventional energy sources, is already in serious trouble.

“We are rapidly approaching a situation in which we simply won’t have the ability to keep up with current electricity demand.

“Add charging for hundreds of thousands – or millions – of electric vehicles on top of that, and we could be looking at a future of widespread blackouts and brownouts – to say nothing of soaring electricity prices.

“Just look at California, which has been a leader in implementing the kind of Green New Deal policies the president wants to impose nationwide.

“A recent article noted, and I quote, ‘There is intensifying political pressure on state lawmakers to do something about utility bills that have shot up by as much as 127 percent over the last decade.’

“Let me just repeat that, Mr. President.

“‘There is intensifying political pressure on state lawmakers to do something about utility bills that have shot up by as much as 127 percent over the last decade.’

“Americans have already faced a substantial increase in energy prices under President Biden.

“Gas prices alone are up 33 percent since President Biden took office.

“But if the president succeeds in fully implementing his Green New Deal visions, today’s gas and utility prices may look cheap compared to the energy prices Americans will face in the future.

“Mr. President, in his three years in office, the president has built an energy record that threatens to do long-term damage to America’s energy security.

“And with eight months to go until the election – and more environmentalists on TikTok to attempt to satisfy – I am worried that the president’s liquefied natural gas decision won’t be the last terrible energy decision we see from the White House in 2024.

“Mr. President, I yield the floor.”