Lankford Spotlights Biden Nominees to Regulate American Energy Who Are Publicly Against American Energy
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WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK), a member of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, raised his opposition to and concerns with three pending Biden nominees he sees as pushing their own climate-change or anti-traditional energy agenda when their posts would be specifically responsible for overseeing oil, gas, and minerals development in the US. This development is needed to help keep us energy independent and lessen our dependence on the foreign minerals we need for things like electronics and energy infrastructure. He raised these nominees as part of the pattern of other Biden nominees put in place not because of their qualifications but because of a specific liberal agenda they want to push on the American people.
The three nominees Lankford discussed were Ms. Sarah Bloom Raskin, who was nominated to serve as the Vice Chair for Supervision at the Federal Reserve; Ms. Maria Robinson, who was nominated to serve as an Assistant Secretary for the Office of Electricity in the Department of Energy; and Ms. Laura Daniel-Davis, who was nominated to serve as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Land and Minerals Management for the Department of the Interior. Lankford questioned Robinson at a hearing on her nomination earlier this week in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee.
Raskin’s position would give her a tremendous regulatory and supervisory power to push her publicly stated agenda—particularly opposition to American energy independence—while controlling many facets of the American Economy at what is essentially our “central bank.” In May 2020, Raskin wrote an op-ed in the New York Times entitled “Why is the Fed Spending So Much Money on a Dying Industry?” The article asked the Federal Reserve to not use its emergency lending powers to assist traditional energy companies, an effort that will only make us more on foreign oil and gas.
Robinson’s views, if confirmed, may actually lead to increased emissions and jeopardize the energy reliability we depend on every day. Robinson has vocally opposed natural gas pipelines, despite a reliance on dirtier home heating oil in the northeast US. Robinson also supports speedy adoption of electric vehicles and eliminating the use of natural gas, which will further strain our power grid.
Daniel-Davis would be the person responsible for overseeing energy and mineral leases in the US, and she actually appears interested in pushing the US back toward energy dependence. Her stated views range between pushing to completely hold up the bureaucratic process for our nation’s energy developers, to essentially saying they are not part of our energy future. Through her current work under the Biden Administration, Daniel-Davis has already been involved in decisions that impact our ability to ensure an adequate energy supply now and in the future.
I really believe you can tell a lot about an Administration’s priorities based on the people that they put in place in each location. That’s true for every Administration. There are more than 300 million Americans, many of them are passionate about serving our nation. Many great federal employees that spend their entire life serving our nation. So there are a lot of individuals to be able to choose from to be able to put in different administration roles, but their background tells you a lot about what the priority is and the purpose is.
For instance, I would say Xavier Becerra, leading HSS who has no health care background right now, an attorney, now leading our nation’s health care focus. The major issue for him, he was the most vocal proponent of abortion while he was in congress, while he was leading as attorney general in California. He was an activist pushing abortion in every single country, even suing other states when they limited abortion as the attorney general of California. He was an activist about abortion. He increased abortions in America.
That was a major reason he was put in that spot with HHS. Why else would you put an activist attorney leading our nation’s health care area? You can say the same thing, some of the major nominations that have come in for DOJ, Kristen Clark, Vanita Gupta. Both of them were outspoken proponents of the defund police movement. Now they’re actually in the Department of Justice. Kristin Clark wrote, “We must invest less in police and more in social workers.’ She also wrote, ‘We must invest less in police, more in mental health aid.’ It was the main focus of the defund the police movement that she continued to be able to rise. Vanita Gupta said, ‘It’s critical for state and local leaders to decrease police budgets and police in our lives’
There’s a reason that she is actually selected to be in that spot. It matches with the priorities and the values of the administration. The same thing when with you look at defense. National defense WORD Alexandra Baker said she’s outspoken and believes that climate change is the leading national security challenge that we face. The leading national security challenge. I’m sure the folks in Russia and Ukraine would be glad to be able to hear that our leading challenge currently is climate change in the Department of Defense. These are all sets of priorities.
It’s the same when we look at Fed. Sarah Bloom Raskin being nominated to be the vice Chair of WORD at Federal Reserve. This is no just ordinary position. She will have an immense amount of regulatory and supervisory power to push her agenda and control every aspects of the federal economy. She is in lockstep with President Biden’s agenda to take on fossil fuels. The problem is, the direction that she’s trying to lead the federal reserve is to be able to engage in picking winners and losers not just from a policy expect but from a capital aspect from the federal reserve. This is just something that it I’m being able to write in to be able to say. This is something she said, that the Federal Reserve should be able to reach in and make it more difficult to get capital for anyone who handles fossil fuels.
Why is that important to us? Well, because 70 percent of the energy in the United States is fossil fuel-related. So what happens suddenly if it gets harder to be able to do natural gas investment? It gets harder to do oil investment in the United States? Well, two things happen with that. It’s pretty straightforward. We import more energy and the prices go up. That’s what happens. Because we’re not going to have a decreasing amount in the foreseeable future. That’s not me just saying that. That’s President Biden’s US Energy Information Administration.
If you look at the charts and details that they put out about what’s going to happen for oil and gas and natural gas usage, they would forecast all the way out to 2050, it is going to be about what it is. Worldwide it’s going to go up significantly. But in the United States, we’re still going to need oil and natural gas at about the level we’re at right now at least through 2050. Now we can talk a lot about carbon capture, and I’m all in on that conversation, but making it harder and more expensive to actually get oil and natural gas while we know we’re going to need the same amount or more? Who pays for that? Well, consumers do.
So let’s look at the simple facts on this. January of 2020, before covid starts striking worldwide, natural gas prices: $2.02 a unit. Natural gas prices in January of 2022, the latest number we have — $4.38. Let’s look at gasoline. For every person that’s actually filling up their tank. Go back to, let’s say, February 2019, well before the pandemic. We’ll just compare February to February. Before that time period, $2.39 a gallon. Today, average price: $3.47 a gallon. What are we experiencing? Policy pressure on limiting access, and what’s happening right now is Sarah Bloom Raskin has been nominated to step into the Federal Reserve, and her primary issue is make it even harder, when our gasoline prices have gone up almost 50% in the last year?
I have to say this administration is intentionally finding ways to be able to make the price of energy more expensive, to be able to push people to other energy sources,. Who feels the pain of that? Every single American. I wish I could just say this was hyperbole. But let me read a few things to you.
During the covid pandemic, Federal Reserve was stepping in and trying to stabilize companies around the country that were struggling and that were challenged, and we all know plenty of companies that were struggling and were challenged. One of the things the federal reserve did, like they did for every other company, was also stabilize oil and gas companies because if those oil and gas companies tank, that means we’ve got to get energy from overseas in the days ahead. So they did what they did in every other entity. They were neutral in it and said, if you are a company that’s providing an infrastructure, we’re going to provide you access to resources the same as everyone else, except Sarah Bloom Raskin wrote this — the federal reserve buying troubled assets from the fossil fuel industry is dangerous, she wrote. She said, it’s bad for the economy, bad for the environment, bad for all of us.
If Sarah Bloom Raskin was in the Federal Reserve during the covid pandemic, we would have likely seen multiple energy companies across the United States collapse for lack of capital and right now we would be buying even more gasoline and even more oil or natural gas from Russia instead. I’m not sure how that solves the problem, but her priority is this simple she’s made, ‘Financial regulators must reimagine their own role so they can play their own part in the broader reimagining of our economy.’
I don’t know how many people I would run into in Oklahoma who would say, ‘You know who I want reimagining our economy? Not the free market but someone in DC I’d be interested in them at their office, working with the capital assets across the country and managing who gets access to capital and who doesn’t, I’d like to have someone I’ve never met in DC. Reimagining our economy based on their preferences. I don’t meet many people like that in Oklahoma. They want a fair playing field. They want a level playing field. And they want free markets. Do we want a clean economy? Absolutely we do.
I would challenge anyone in this chamber to look at the energy breakdown in Oklahoma and compare it to your state’s energy breakdown in the amount of renewables that we use in our state versus what you’re using in yours. We’re passionate about a clean energy future. But we’re also realists in the process and not trying to drive the price up for every person in the process.
Maria Robinson, I met with her earlier in week. Mrs. Robinson is from Massachusetts, vocally opposed to natural gas pipelines coming into new England. She was pretty clear that she understands they use dirtier home heating oil in the northeast, but she doesn’t want natural gas pipelines coming in, but she didn’t seem to oppose when a Russian tanker pulled in and offloaded natural gas into Boston Harbor. So literally buying natural gas from the Russians, not from the United States, didn’t seem to be an issue. But she did make this statement, ‘I would certainly be a part of the group of folks who oppose new gas pipelines.’
In my conversation with her, I asked her about, I just picked a day, January 16, 2022 is the day that I picked just in our conversation. I said, that particular day in New England, 24 percent of the energy generation was from fuel oil. Over 30 percent was from natural gas, and 8 percent was from renewables, 8 percent. That particular day, 24 percent from home heating oil, over 30 percent natural gas, 8 percent from renewables. So my simple question was, what are you planning to substitute in that? How is this going to work? Her response was, well, in our area in New England we’re working on connecting our grid more to other parts of the country to deliver electricity to us. What that really means? We don’t like windmills. We don’t like to look at them in Boston Harbor, we don’t like offshore wind. We want windmills built in Oklahoma, and you guys just ship us our electricity so we can flick on the lights.
Ms. Laura Daniels-Davis, she’s been nominated for the assistant secretary for land and mineral management. She’s currently in a role already with DOI. She’s already made the change that routine permitting decisions that are typically made in the field to expedite process of making permits, those have all been pulled up to her desk in Washington, DC, where they’ve slowed down dramatically. The clear signal was, if you want to do any oil and gas development, it’s got to come through me and it’s not going to be rapid like it used to be. So if you’re going to invest capital, just understand your capital is whether I make that decision or not. They’ve not held a single on-shore oil and gas lease sale, even though they’re required by law to do so. Just ignored it for a year and said, ‘We’re studying it.’
There’s also a five-year leasing plan that’s required for offshore oil and gas development. So while they’ve cut off on-shore, offshore there’s a five-year lease plan that has to be put in place and done by June of this year. So far we have no signal they’ve even begun that. And it takes months to develop that. Why are these individuals being selected for these positions? Because it’s very clear they have certain priorities in place. They were selected because they’re going to block out anything that deals with oil and gas, and their focus is to cut it off right now, cut off pipelines, cut off new lease, cut off offshore leasing, make it harder to get access to capital. All of that will raise prices for American consumers.
Today, today, it was announced the inflation rate in the United States is now at 7.5 percent. It continues to rise month after month after month. I would say to you, that is directly connected to a group of policies that have been put in place to make energy more expensive, and it is, to make it more difficult to be able to do a lot of things in permitting appeared such, and it is. Yes, we’re recovering from COVID. I’m very aware. But the policies that are put in place are also driving this. We have two million people that have illegally crossed the border last year. That two million number didn’t happen by just the calendar and by covid.
Policies were put in place that have led to a flood of people illegally crossing our border. Policies are being put in place by individuals that are directly leading to 7.5 percent inflation in our country. Can I say to you, half of the Americans alive have never in their lifetime of experienced inflation like they’re experiencing right now. Half of the Americans alive do not know what 7.5 percent inflation is going to be to them personally, but they’re learning quickly because what they thought they were going to buy last month they can no longer afford this month, and it doesn’t look better next month. And if we don’t deal with real consequences for people, including who is put into different positions, this never gets better