(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.