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Lankford: Democrats Are Trying to Avoid Responsibility for High Gas Prices by Blaming “Big Oil”

By: By US Senator James Lankford

On the first day of the Biden presidency, he announced he would not permit the Keystone Pipeline to bring heavy crude oil from Canada, but we could purchase the same amount of heavy crude oil from Russia. How did that foreign policy decision work out?

Every month of the Biden presidency, gas prices have gone up because he shut off pipeline expansion, closed off leasing federal lands for oil production, changed the rules for energy development, and announced he wanted a big tax increase on small producers of oil and natural gas. Then, the President acted shocked when the price of everything went up and inflation hit a 40-year high. Chuck Schumer recently said, “The Senate is going to get answers, and that’s why we will be calling on the CEOs of major oil companies to come testify before Congress.” I hope they do call energy producers to Capitol Hill so the real story can get out.

Blaming so-called “Big Oil” and Putin for high gas prices is an incomplete story. Certainly a war in an area where so much oil is produced will cause global prices to temporarily increase. But Oklahomans know that much of our US energy comes from small businesses and hard-working families who are proud to produce the energy we need every day to get to school and work, heat our homes, cook our food, and manufacture the goods we need to live our lives. If those men and women were not in the field drilling, we would all be walking to work and reading books at home late at night by candlelight.

At the exact moment we need to increase the supply of oil and decrease the price at the pump, Biden proposed in his new budget a tax penalty on small energy companies, and Democrats in the Senate proposed a new 50 percent tax on larger oil and gas companies. Both of those taxes will mean less oil production and still higher prices. This Administration is so committed to getting rid of oil and natural gas, that even when energy prices spike during a war in Ukraine, they’re still proposing even more ways to decrease American production and increase prices.

Now, the most progressive President ever is releasing 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in an attempt to bring down the prices that his policies raised. This is his third major release from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is designed to protect our national security, not the President’s poll numbers.

We need the long-term policy changes I’ve proposed like common sense regulations on pipelines, preventing the Federal Reserve from cutting off access to capital for oil and gas companies, opening up federal lands to energy exploration, and providing regulatory consistency to allow US energy producers certainty to invest again. If Biden wants to lower gas prices, he should spend more time talking about supply solutions with the many US energy companies he’s alienated and less time glad-handing climate-change activists.