Recent Op-Eds

Biden’s Actions Jeopardize U.S. Energy Security

By Sen. John Thune

March 1, 2024

Since his very first day in office, President Biden has pursued an agenda that has put American energy security in jeopardy. His actions have discouraged conventional domestic energy production, threatened the stability of our energy supply, and led to higher prices for consumers.

Rather than pursue policies that ensure a reliable and affordable supply of energy, the Biden administration’s energy actions seem to be driven by a misguided Green New Deal vision. The latest example of this is President Biden’s decision to pause approvals of liquefied natural gas (LNG) export permits. The move, which apparently was made in part to assuage climate activists on TikTok, is a terrible decision with serious implications for American energy.

The export pause is ostensibly for climate-related reasons, but it will do nothing to reduce global emissions. In fact, it runs the risk of increasing emissions by pushing other countries to import natural gas from less environmentally friendly nations or to rely on other forms of energy, like coal. On balance, the move will not benefit the climate or reduce emissions, but it will negatively impact the United States’ energy industry and our export partners.

Russia and Iran are all too ready to replace American LNG with their own. Europe struggled to wean itself off Russian energy, and American exports ultimately played a significant role in helping them replace Russian gas after the war in Ukraine began. President Biden’s LNG pause is making Europe’s energy industry understandably nervous about its implications. While Russia and Iran are working on new export facilities for LNG, the president’s action is putting construction of these facilities in the United States in jeopardy.

At a time when we need to be building up the American energy sector, this action risks undermining its strength. Of course, this is just the latest move in President’s Biden’s long history of hostility toward conventional energy sources like oil and natural gas.

Another example of this Green New Deal agenda is the president’s goal of transitioning to electric vehicles on a broad scale in the next decade. The reality is, our supply chains and electric grid are nowhere near where they need to be in order to support such a widespread transition and the resulting surge in electricity demand. In fact, we are already rapidly approaching a situation in which we won’t be able to keep up with current electricity demand.

We don’t need to look far for examples of the consequences that these policies will bring. I’ve already mentioned the energy situation in Europe. Closer to home, California has implemented the types of policies that the president envisions for the whole country, and, in the last decade, Californians’ utility bills have gone up as much as 127 percent as a result of inadequate energy resources. This is not the energy future we should be striving for.

President Biden’s energy policies may please climate activists, but I’m concerned they will leave many more Americans suffering from more expensive and less reliable energy.