Lankford Presses on How Biden’s Policies Will Hurt US Energy Costs

CLICK HERE to watch Lankford’s Q&A on YouTube.

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today participated in a Senate Energy and Natural Resources hearing to discuss the impact of the Biden Administration’s policies on traditional energy taking an abrupt backseat to unpredictable renewables, particularly while Americans are already feeling the effects of rising inflation and projected skyrocketing costs to heat homes this winter.

Lankford’s Q&A with energy leaders and economists comes on the heels of the COP26 conference in Scotland, at which the Biden Administration continued its mission to get rid of traditional energy by some arbitrary deadline that would hurt Oklahomans and all Americans. Oklahoma remains a leader in integrating renewable energy like wind, solar, and hydro energy into our all-of-the-above energy portfolio that also relies on natural gas and coal.

Today’s witness panel consisted of Mr. Stephen Nalley, the Acting Administrator for the US Energy Information Administration; Mr. Tim Gould, the Chief Energy Economist at the International Energy Agency; and Mr. Robert Bryce, who is an author, journalist, podcaster, and film producer.

Lankford continues to rail on the Biden Administration for its attempts to “cancel” traditional energy. Last February, following extreme winter weather in Oklahoma, Lankford highlighted the struggles that plagued customers when Oklahoma’s wind towers froze and were for several days running more on diesel than wind power—usually, Oklahoma receives 40 percent of our power from wind. Oklahoma solar panels were also challenged by the storms since they were covered in snow for days, when temperatures hovered at -14° or had near-constant cloud cover.

Lankford joined Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) and 17 of their Senate colleagues to send a letter to President Biden describing the actions the Administration can take to ease energy prices and reduce energy shortages this winter. Proposed solutions include lifting the ban on oil and gas lease sales on federal lands and waters, accelerating Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and Army Corps permitting, improving interagency coordination to approve pipeline projects, and ending the regulatory uncertainty stifling investments in energy.


On why American crude oil production is not keeping up with demand

Lankford: Why is American production not increasing at the rate to be able to keep up with American consumption as well—with the prices like $80 on West Texas Intermediate and $5 a unit for natural gas, you would think that the production would have continued to accelerate—why is it not accelerating?

Nalley: …We are pretty early in the recovery. We’re about 93 percent of where we were in oil production, relative to 2019. I think one of the major contributing factors is the economic downturn. A lot of those P&E [production and exploration] companies and investors were hit pretty hard financially. I think they’re trying to reposition themselves for the long term.

On John Kerry’s comments at the recent climate conference of not having coal by 2031

Lankford: …At your agency, as you’re trying to be able to look for the future of energy and trying to provide energy in the United States, by 2031 do you expect us to not have coal plants in America?

Nalley: No, we show if we look at our AEO 2020, last year’s AEO [Annual Economic Outlook] that we put out, we show coal reducing about one percent per year out through 2050. I think in 2050, we show it being roughly 75 percent of what it is currently.

On the impact on domestic natural gas prices if we stop exporting Liquefied Natural Gas

Lankford: Looking at the total market and the investment that’s happening, you have different pipelines, you have different companies that are coming in place, you have drilling operations that are going after natural gas to provide to the domestic market or the international market. The infrastructure itself is being built up to be able to provide for the international market. If all of that investment went away, that we weren’t investing for the international market and for the domestic market, what would happen to domestic prices?

Nalley: Well, if you stop exporting LNG, it would certainly put a surplus or extra supply in the US market. Prices would drop in the US market. I think internationally, they would skyrocket. And I think lower prices in the US would probably discourage more production.

Lankford: I think that would discourage more investment in the future, that you’d have less capital going into developing for the future. My perception of the markets are, as we’re developing more and more facilities to be able to export, we’re also developing more and more access here. If that went away with an extremely low price that we’ve seen in natural gas for years now, none of that investment would have occurred and we wouldn’t be well positioned to be able to continue to provide for our own needs.