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(RepublicanWire.org) – Any car-owning American who has taken a recent trip to the pump will be able to tell you one thing: Gas is expensive. Really expensive. Indeed, as of last week, a gallon costs $4.231 — up $1.379, from a year ago. (The same trend is true for natural gas.) The crisis has evidently lasted longer — and proved more economically serious — than the Biden administration suggested.

Curiously, the cabinet official best equipped to address it has remained completely mum on the issue. I’m referring to former New Mexico political activist, former member of the U.S. House of Representatives, and current secretary of the Department of the Interior, Deb Haaland.

Secretary Deb Haaland manages the federal government’s onshore subsurface mineral estate — about 700 million acres (30 percent of the United States) held by the Bureau of Land Management alone. There are, of course, additional oil and gas resources to be found on tribal lands, in the Alaska National Wildlife Refuge, and on the outer continental shelf.

According to the website operated by the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management, in fiscal year 2018 (which is unfortunately the most recent data available), sales of oil, natural gas, and natural-gas liquids produced from the federal and tribal mineral estate accounted for only a small fraction of total sales in the U.S. (8 percent of all oil, 9 percent of all natural gas, and 6 percent of all natural-gas liquids).

These numbers could be much higher. In the best of times, the federal government might be a more difficult partner for oil and gas companies than private landowners or even state land offices that have a much stronger financial incentive to approve permits than does Washington. Now, with the avowedly anti-fossil-fuels Biden administration and anti-oil-and-gas activist Deb Haaland in control of the Interior Department, the permitting situation is much worse.

And that’s the point of this critique. If the Biden administration really wanted to address rising gas prices, it could do so most readily by encouraging drilling on federal lands — especially on onshore resources in Deb Haaland’s home state of New Mexico.

Yet rather than pursuing that fairly simple solution, the administration would rather plead with such hostile nations as Venezuela and Iran to expand their production.

Whether it is Deb Haaland calling the shots within the administration on energy policy or whether she is just one of many decision-makers, the Biden administration’s embrace of anti-energy environmental groups and their policies appears to be the root cause. Not surprisingly, Haaland herself rose to some level of prominence by opposing traditional energy, calling for a fracking ban, and promoting the Green New Deal. “I am wholeheartedly against fracking and drilling on public lands,” Haaland said in an interview with the Guardian in May 2019.

Haaland is unlikely to moderate her views, even as skyrocketing energy prices have become a major problem. Instead, she avoids dealing with the issue entirely. Consider just a few examples:

  • The Interior Department and its associated agencies have not issued a single press release on the energy-crisis situation, much less about increasing production on federal lands.
  • There have been no tweets from Secretary Haaland on the issue of increasing energy production on federal lands.
  • When the secretary does focus on energy issues, as she did in a visit to Ohio, the focus is on infrastructure — cleaning up orphan wells, legacy pollution from extractive industries, and moving toward renewables.
  • Oddly, even Haaland’s calendar hasn’t been updated in nearly a year (since March 2021).

While the Interior Department and Deb Haaland have been completely missing in action during the ongoing energy crisis, Energy secretary Jennifer Granholm is at least publicly calling for ramping up production. Previously the White House was “quietly” calling for more production, but you can look far and wide for specific Biden-administration policies to increase supply. The best you’ll get is the recently announced release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

Unfortunately for hard-pressed motorists and, more generally, American consumers being throttled by high inflation, the Department of Energy can’t really do anything directly to address America’s energy crisis. The department that can, though, is nowhere to be seen. Perhaps the administration simply doesn’t want Haaland front and center because she has such a long track record of opposing the very energy resources necessary to solve the current crisis.

Will Haaland come out of “hiding” to lead the charge on behalf of increasing American supplies of oil and gas? I’m not holding my breath. This administration remains more beholden to radical environmental groups than any in history. Prices may come down a bit if the war in Ukraine ends, but high gas prices and constrained American production are a feature, not a bug, for the Biden administration and its interior secretary.

(RepublicanWire.org) – GOP leader Kevin McCarthy ripped House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for blaming the soaring U.S. gas prices on oil companies.

“Who do they blame next?” the California Republican said. “Americans aren’t buying these excuses, but unfortunately they are paying for them.”

Pelosi said gas companies should “boost production” during the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“There are 6,000 permits out there where people could drill, the industry can drill,” Pelosi said at a news conference last Thursday. “They don’t need to be upending our initiatives to save the planet from the climate crisis; if they want to drill, they have places to drill. Use it or lose it. Let somebody else drill there.”

McCarthy was asked if there is merit to the Democrats’ argument that oil and gas companies are allowing prices to remain high even though the price of a barrel of oil has dropped below $100.

“It just begins to go to show how they don’t understand the industry,” he replied. “Things don’t change overnight. You’ve got to produce the oil. You sell the oil. You have to refine the oil and you pass it through.”

McCarthy told reporters that leading Democrats have been saying since the 2020 election cycle that they wanted to stop the production of oil on public lands.

“Joe Biden, in his campaign for president, said he would eliminate the production of crude,” he said. “You then had on the very first day when he got into office ending a pipeline. So you add transportation to that, and when inflation goes up, if you can’t move it by a pipeline, you’ve got to put it in a truck, or you’ve got to put it in a tanker if you bring it from somewhere else — that costs a lot more, you can’t get things off the port, so they raised the price themselves.”

“So now they want to turn around and blame them,” he said. “When you shut in a well, you can’t turn it right back on, it’s not a light switch.”

“Do you understand the market? You get a lease, it takes you 3 to 7 years to develop it, and there’s no guarantee there’s oil or gas underneath it,” he said.

“Then oil companies go to their banker to try to get the capital to go, but the majority committee is going after the capital not to loan you the money,” he said. “I’ve never seen anything like this.”

“American natural gas is 41% cleaner than Russian natural gas,” he said. “They [Democrats] made their platform to put the oil industry out of business in America and increase the business of Russia, Iran, and Venezuela.”

Even some Democrats have sided with Republicans on this.

West Virginia Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin said the oil industry needs needs “signals” from the Biden Administration that they will support oil and gas development and production on federal and non-federal lands. He wants Biden to end the pause on new drilling leases.

“It is well past time for the pause to end — for well drillers and the administration to move forward,” Manchin said. “So yes, I’m calling on the industry — and the shareholders — to invest and put production before profits. We need you to ramp up on those existing leases and with those existing permits because that’s the fastest thing we can do. But the industry also needs signals from the administration that they will support oil and gas development and production.”

Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester shared a similar view on increasing oil production in the U.S.

“Our best response to rising gas prices should be increasing our domestic energy production from all sources and increasing trade with our allies, not buying from dictators who are actively invading sovereign nations,” he said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – He’s not unleashing American oil producers, letting them flood the market with American crude to drive prices down and American profits up.

Nope, Team Biden is looking into buying oil from Iran and Venezuela, two of our biggest enemies, instead. Why’s he choosing terrorists over Texas? That’s not clear. But DeSantis slammed it in a recent statement, brilliantly pointing out the delusion in an epic statement.

DeSantis led off by highlighting that those who fled the vicious Venezuelan regime are furious that Biden is wanting to buy oil from dictators, saying:

We have a number of Venezuelan Americans, who, like many Americans and, I know, a lot of Floridians, are very angered by the Biden administration’s recent attempt to legitimize the brutal Maduro regime in Venezuela.”

Then, noting that Biden didn’t “lift a finger to help” the pro-democracy protesters in Cuba, DeSantis ripped Biden for funding a dictator and “thumbing his nose” at those that escaped that dictator, saying:

This is something that has unfortunately become part of a pattern with the Biden administration. I think if you look at people throughout south Florida that have connections in different countries in the Western Hemisphere, what we see from the Biden administration is basically thumbing their nose at millions of people here in our state…And now, to go in … legitimizing Nicolas Maduro, who’s been responsible for a lot of atrocities and has driven that country into the ground, along with, of course, his predecessor Hugo Chavez — so we are here to speak out about that.

Turning from what Biden’s doing to what should be happening, DeSantis garnered lots of applause by calling for common-sense: American energy independence, saying:

I believe that this country should be energy independent. We have a huge amount of energy reserves in this country.”

“You look at how these gas prices are impacting consumers in Florida and throughout the country. It wasn’t just because of Russia. They’ve been going up consistently since January 20, 2021. That’s just a fact.

DeSantis then got to what might have been his best point: that the Democrats are shunning Putin while buying oil from Maduro because of ideology. In his words:

This is based on ideology. They don’t want us producing like we did under the Trump administration, so they’ve done a series of things…

So you say you don’t want to do with Putin because he’s a dictator. Fine. I’m all for that. But then don’t turn around and go to Maduro, who has committed all kinds of atrocities.”

DeSantis is quite simply correct. Refusing to buy oil from Putin is understandable, a fine decision.

But then turning around and buying oil from a theocracy that hates us and a socialist regime that murders its subject to maintain power? That’s nonsensical, if not evil. American producers can and should be empowered instead.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) said Wednesday that he introduced the No Oil From Terrorists Act to prevent President Biden from negotiating with terrorists for oil imports when the United States could produce its own oil.

As CNSNews.com previously reported, the Biden administration has been in talks with Saudi Arabia, Venezuela, and Iran about supplying the United States with oil.

“This is common sense, Maria. First and foremost, on day one of the Joe Biden presidency he crushed the American energy sector, by ending construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He stopped drilling on federal lands. He did everything that he could to destroy American-owned and made energy sector and he made us dependent on foreign oil again,” he told Fox Business’s “Mornings with Maria Bartiromo.”

“Now yesterday he finally– this week he finally did the right thing, and he banned Russian oil imports but at the same time he’s trading one for a couple of other bad guys,” the congressman said.

“He’s begging Venezuela and Maduro to give us more oil, and he’s gone to the largest state sponsor of terrorism in the world – Iran – and he’s trying to push through a new Iran nuclear deal, which is disastrous for a lot of other reasons, to leverage more oil from a stated sponsor of terrorism,” Banks said.

“So my bill, the No Oil From Terrorists Act would prevent this president from doing something that’s absolutely foolish to do and negotiate with terrorists to get oil to bring to the United States when we could be producing it right here at home instead,” he said.

Banks said it’s “maddening” that Russia is negotiating the Iran nuclear deal on behalf of the United States. 

This is maddening, as you describe it, but you gotta go back in time a little bit. Remember that the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by Barack Obama was a terrible deal. It gave pallets of cash to Iran to try to prevent them from building nuclear weapons, but instead, it did the opposite.

Donald Trump got us out of it. It was one of his key campaign promises that he made when he ran for president in 2016. He kept that promise, and he ended the disastrous Iran nuclear deal.

Now it seems that Joe Biden is hell bent on making the same mistake that Barack Obama did, and part of this deal is to give Iran a hundred billion dollars, and would actually reward them for bad activities rather than punishing them, and at the same time, you have Russia who recognizes this is another opportunity for them to weaken America and to build up one of our adversaries in Iran.

It doesn’t make any sense. There’s no good explanation for it. It just goes to show that Joe Biden is a disastrous commander in chief and president, and this is another foolish move on his part. 

Banks said there’s a lot the United States can do to help Ukraine that it’s not doing.

“I mean this administration, we’ve been calling on them for weeks to give aid to Ukraine especially, military weapons and ammunition. Zelensky has been calling for it for weeks. He continues those calls to this day. It doesn’t make any sense why this administration has drug their feet,” the congressman said.

“Joe Biden has waited for many European countries to act first, and he’s leading from behind. Today on the floor of the House we’ll be voting on a humanitarian package, but it’s too little too late,and they don’t need blankets. They need American troops. They need military equipment and ammunition to fight back, and we’ve been dragging our feet and giving it to them,” he said.

Banks said that Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is polling better than Biden is among Americans.

“I don’t know if you saw this, Maria, but the polling for Zelensky in the United States of America’s approval rating almost twice as good as Joe Biden’s approval rating is in our home country. He’s showing the type of leadership that Joe Biden doesn’t show that he’s never shown since he’s been in the White House, and that’s why the rest of the world is — we stand with Zelensky,” he said.

“We stand with Ukraine. We need to do more to help them fight back against Russia, but the Democrats and Joe Biden, every single day they’ve drug their feet and made it harder for Ukraine to do that,” the congressman said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – As the country hurtles toward a previously unthinkable average price of $5/gallon for gas, the Biden administration is scrambling.

They’re trying to counter the rising tide of criticism from citizens who were already paying a steep price due to spiking inflation. But right now, it doesn’t appear as if D.C. has any answers.

Now, even several Democrat leaders are turning on Biden’s team — and they’re standing with most Republicans on one key issue.

When Russia invaded Ukraine, gas prices immediately started to increase. Because the U.S. gets so much of its oil from Russia, a shortage was inevitable, and many drivers have become frustrated.

The Biden administration blames Russia, as the President was recently quoted as saying that there “isn’t much I can do right now.”

However, many politicos and lawmakers say there is something he can do, and it’s something that should’ve been done a long time ago: America needs to start domestic drilling immediately.

Under former President Donald Trump, the country had moved toward energy independence. But Biden’s focus has returned overseas for oil and as a result, we’re in a difficult situation with Russia.

And two Democrat Senators have had enough. Via The Daily Wire:

The growing chorus of calls for increased oil production in the United States has become bipartisan, as moderate Democratic Senators Joe Manchin (WV) and Jon Tester (MT) on Tuesday called for producing more oil domestically instead of importing the natural resource from foreign countries.

Another primary issue is that we’re essentially financing our enemies (Russia and if reports are accurate, possibly Iran).

Sen. Tester told CNN’s Manu Raju that “we shouldn’t be advancing other countries who don’t share our values.” Which is why he wants us to drill in the U.S., “create jobs here, deal with with domestically.”

As for Sen. Manchin, he repeated what he’s been saying for some time:

“We should basically go back to the policies that we’ve had before.

And that’s– we have to do our leasing in the Gulf [of Mexico], ok, [Bureau of Land Management] lands [have] been off-target, all this has to go back in, into production.

That’s all we’re asking for. And any oil that’s needed to our allies around the world, we produce it cleaner than anybody.”

Manchin is taking a strong stance on this issue, and it goes beyond just words.

According to The Hill, the moderate Democrat is withholding a “yes” vote for Biden’s pick for the assistant Interior secretary for land minerals management, Laura Daniel-Davis.

And unless the administration immediately begins to ramp up domestic production, Manchin likely won’t approve of Daniel-Davis. As such, the President is facing opposition on all sides.

Manchin and Tester are just two more voices that have joined the growing chorus: start domestic drilling now, and save Americans from paying through the nose at the pump.

Those calling for this action maintain that we produce cleaner oil than our foreign counterparts, and our gas lines would have less of an environmental impact.

They also slam Democrats for “wanting” these higher prices at the pump, because it fits in with their green, anti-fossil fuel agenda. Many argue this is why they’ve never cared if gas prices skyrocket.

These pundits typically say they’re all for protecting the environment but it’s a long-term plan, and doesn’t happen overnight.

Furthermore, they add that it’s not a good idea to cripple entire economies and drain bank accounts just to push a certain agenda, especially when the world is in such a tenuous situation.

(RepublicanWire.org) – President Joe Biden has cut off the imports of Russian energy and, as gas prices have been rising for around a year, they are expected to climb more.

In his speech announcing the ban on Russian energy imports he also appeared to blame the rise in gas prices on the Russia and Ukraine war,  as he did later when confronted by a reporter.

“Do you have a message for the American people on gas prices?” a reporter said to Biden as he was walking.

“They’re going to go up,” the president said.

“What can you do about it?” the reporter pressed.

“Can’t do much right now. Russia’s responsible,” the president responded.

Republican Texas Sen. Ted Cruz shredded him for it, saying that the president is lying about the reasons for the rising gas prices.

“This is a flat-out lie. Gas prices have increased 48% under Biden—BEFORE RUSSIA INVADED UKRAINE. Biden did that. That’s bc Biden: – killed Keystone pipeline. – froze federal leases. – shut down ANWR All, while Biden waived sanctions on Putin’s pipeline,” the Texas senator said.

NBC News reported this week that the administration had made a decision to blame Russia for the gas prices.

When President Joe Biden called the rising cost of gas in the U.S. “Putin’s price hike” Tuesday — laying the blame for pain at the pump squarely on Russian President Vladimir Putin — it wasn’t a casual aside. And his warning to oil and gas companies against price gouging was no ad lib.

His comments while announcing a U.S. ban on Russian oil imports in response to Putin’s assault on Ukraine — which he repeated hours later as he arrived for a veterans event in to Fort Worth, Texas — were part of a deliberate shift by the White House in the president’s messaging strategy about gas prices ahead of the midterm elections, people familiar with the internal deliberations said.

“When Joe Biden came in the very first week in office, he shut down the Keystone Pipeline; he destroyed 11,000 high paying jobs, including 8,000 union jobs. He immediately froze new leases both on federal land on shore and on federal land off-shore. That’s had a dramatic effect; we’re seeing the prices skyrocketing at the pump,” the senator said on CNBC on Tuesday.

“It really is striking; in 2019 the United States became a net energy exporter,” he said. “We are an oil and gas superpower. And yet under Joe Biden, last year for the first time since then, America stopped being a net energy exporter as our production went down, and the result of Biden’s presidency has been that the enemies of America, countries like Russia, like Iran, like Venezuela, are all getting stronger, getting richer, getting more aggressive; getting more hostile because the president is simultaneously weakening our own ability to produce energy and strengthening their ability to produce energy. I gotta say: It’s backward on both fronts.”

“It’s important to understand that the rhetoric of the far Left, they don’t actually believe it,” the senator argued. “It’s not actually about the environment. If the only thing you cared about was the environment, let’s say you didn’t care at all about jobs; you didn’t care about inflation; you didn’t care about gas prices at the pump skyrocketing; you just cared about the environment; on that metric, the Biden administration is a disaster. Why? When you shut down the Keystone Pipeline, it’s not like the Canadians just leave that gas in the tar sands; instead, they put it on trucks and trains and they ship it south or they put it on ships and they ship it west to China. Both pollute more, produce mor CO2.  When you shut down production in the United States it’s not like the rest of the world suddenly ceases driving cars or flying jet airplanes; what happens instead is producers like Russia, producers like the Middle east produce more, and all of that production is dirtier; it pollutes more; and it’s more carbon emissions, more CO2.”

“So the effect of Joe Biden, the effect of the Greens in Germany has been more pollution and more CO2 emitted to the environment. Their rhetoric is not what they’re trying to do; what they’re really trying to do, it’s an irrational, emotional response. The Biden administration wants to destroy U.S. energy production,” he said.

“And I gotta say this past week has illustrated it powerfully; you’ve seen the Biden administration travel to Venezuela, go to Nicolas Maduro, a vicious dictator, an illegitimate government, someone who murders his own citizens, and beg them to produce oil. You’ve seen the Biden administration this week in Vienna with Iran trying to have the Ayatollah Khomeini produce more oil. And it is bizarre that this administration wants enemies of America like Russia and Iran and Venezuela to produce oil and at the same time to destroy jobs here in America,” he said.

(RepublicanWire.org) – Biden’s National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan went on all the networks on Sunday, stoking up the concern about a potential invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

But when he went on Fox, he faced some real questions from host Martha MacCallum about why Joe Biden had aided and abetted Russia with the moves that he has made regarding energy.

Now, we see a lot of liberal media giving the Biden Administration a pass when it comes to their bad moves on energy, but MacCallum had the facts and was loaded for bear with them in the interview.

MacCallum asked why didn’t Biden restart the Keystone XL pipeline and oil drilling leases, which the Administration had stopped because the U.S. had “energy independence which was large leverage for the U.S. over Russia.” But now, we didn’t have that anymore and we were even buying more oil from Russia, even in the face of these threats that Biden is waving a flag about regarding Ukraine.

Sullivan’s answer was a non-answer. He said we’re still a big producer, and we’re going to make sure that Russia doesn’t use oil as a weapon. We’re going to make sure Russia doesn’t use energy as a weapon — by buying more of their oil and reducing our ability? What kind of sense does that make? Why would we destroy our position and help Russia?

In addition to shutting down Keystone XL and oil drilling leases, Biden also waived sanctions on Nord Stream 2, helping Russia.

As I previously wrote:

How many Americans know that we are importing a lot of oil from Russia? Not only did Biden beg OPEC to produce more oil, he doubled the amount of oil imported from Saudi Arabia from December of 2020 and October of 2021 and we’ve also tripled the oil from Russia from what we were importing from February 2019 to September 2021.

In May of last year, Biden surged the Russian oil imports by 23 percent to 844,000 barrels a day from the prior month, which was almost 10 percent of all our oil imports for the month. The only country we import more oil from is Canada. Exactly why are we importing and dependent on such an adversary?

MacCallum pressed Sullivan, asking if he does concede we are no longer energy independent, “and we were before.” His answer is very revealing.

“What I would say is that the U.S. is investing massively in being a leader in an energy transition in which – yes, for now we continue to use fossil fuels – but over the course of years and decades, we become a clean energy superpower.” He claimed that’s where the “strategic advantage” would lie.

Just to summarize that: he’s admitting they’re killing our energy position on purpose. That’s what he just said, because of their insane “clean energy” goals. That’s all just cool to them, if we help Russia now, as Russia menaces us and their neighbors. That’s all just cool, as our gas prices continue to soar, hitting almost 50 percent higher than they were last year at the same time. Can we say how crazy and harmful these people are and how every American needs to vote them out of office, when they think like this?

MacCallum had the best response. “Some people would look at that answer and say that Russia and China could feel like they were in a “pretty good position,” MacCallum said.

Exactly. Russia and China are probably looking at all this and laughing that we could put these horrible folks that help them in office. And the Democrats called President Donald Trump a Putin stooge, when he was dropping bombs on Russians’ heads and making us more energy independent. These actions make no sense, unless you are insane and/or are trying to help Vladimir Putin. They hurt our ability to defend ourselves and our allies. They hurt every American.

So, when you’re driving to the pump and shaking your head when you see those prices rising again, just remember what Jake Sullivan said.