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EXCLUSIVE: Republican Rep. Kevin Hern says Biden's 'transition' to clean energy and 'socialist policies' does NOTHING to help 'hurting' Americans 'can't afford a luxury EV' and calls for 'oil and gas dominance' instead
Elizabeth Elkind, Dailymail.com
Washington, DC, March 8, 2022
Tags: Economy & Jobs
Oklahoma Republican Rep. Kevin Hern has criticized President Biden for pushing for a transition to clean energy during his speech announcing his ban on all Russian energy exports and as American gas prices reached a record $4.17 a gallon.
Hern accused Biden of 'intentionally' driving up gas prices to grow support for his electric vehicle initiatives in a statement to DailyMail.com, joining a wave of GOP members calling for Biden to get America drilling for its own oil after blocking supplies from Moscow.
It also follows Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg on Monday pushing for a transition to green energy and electric cars - which cost an average of $55,000 - during historic inflation.
'Biden and his handlers have spent the last year driving up inflation by any means possible with the intention of forcing a ‘reset’ in our country, a transition to the Green New Deal and other socialist policies.
'It’s all been intentional. Biden’s EV push does nothing to help Americans hurting today, who can’t afford a luxury vehicle. It doesn’t help power our homes and businesses, and it will not cause the price of gas to go down one penny. American energy dominance is the answer, and that starts with oil and gas,' Hern said.
Biden announced on Tuesday the United States would target 'the main artery of Russia's economy' with a ban on energy imports from Moscow, while acknowledging the financial squeeze it would put on Americans already paying record-high prices at the pump. At the end of his speech he said it was an opportunity to 'accelerate' the transition to clean energy and electric cars
'Americans have rallied support -- have rallied to support the Ukrainian people and made it clear we will not be part of subsidizing Putin's war,' Biden said at the White House.
During his speech Biden also hit back at Republican accusations that his administration cut back US oil and gas production -- pointing out that he actually pumped more oil than his predecessor Donald Trump did during his first year in office.
Biden insisted American fuel independence could be achieved by transitioning to clean energy which Republicans have claimed that such efforts led the US to today's vulnerable position and high gas prices.
After Biden's speech, Republicans renewed calls to increase US fossil fuel production while also condemning the president for looking at Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and Iran as possible candidates to alleviate the immediate strain.
'Every purchase of Russian energy product provides financial support for Putin’s barbaric war on Ukraine. Banning Russian oil and gas imports is obviously the right thing to do, and Biden must couple this glaringly clear decision with expanded U.S. oil and gas production. The President should have the courage to stand against the Democrats' green new deal left and step away from his administration’s war on the American oil and gas industry,' Rep. Clay Higgins of Louisiana told DailyMail.com.
Kansas Senator Roger Marshall said in a statement, 'I applaud President Biden for taking this important step, but similar to sanctions on Russia and aid delivered to Ukraine, he is once again late to act. After spending billions to finance Putin’s war on Ukraine, the President must immediately redirect efforts to restart America’s energy production,'
His fellow Kansas Senator Jerry Moran said the ban was the 'right step.'
'While it’s past time for President Biden’s ban on the U.S. purchase of Russian oil, this is the right step. Now his admin must take steps to unleash U.S. energy production. If not, gas prices will continue to rise & we will be reliant on our adversaries for energy production,' Moran said on Twitter.
Trump released a statement reasserting that the US was enacting the full Russian energy ban alone and claiming Europe was 'taking advantage' of Biden.
'Just confirmed that most of Europe won’t go along with the United States in boycotting Russian oil and gas. As usual the United States will be left out there alone, being taken advantage of by Europe, as we defend them, while we read in the Fake News how everyone has come together under Biden to fight Russia,' Trump said through his Save America PAC.
GOP Rep. Jim Banks of Indiana wrote on Twitter, 'Even with $5/gallon gas, Joe Biden is doubling down on Green New Deal policies.'
Florida Senator Marco Rubio praised Biden's import ban but urged him to go further in a video statement.
'Part one is in place, we're not buying oil from Russia. Now we have to do part two, which is we should replace it with American oil -- not Saudi oil, not Iranian oil, not Venezuelan oil,' Rubio said.
Rick Scott, chair of the Senate GOP's campaign arm the National Republican Senatorial Committee, accused Biden of dodging blame for high gas prices.
'Americans are paying record gas prices & Biden blames everyone else. Here’s the real cause,' Scott wrote on Twitter. 'Biden's war on U.S. energy: canceling Keystone XL while approving Russia’s pipelines. Biden's Afghanistan debacle & weakness on the world stage. Who is responsible? Joe Biden.'
New York Republican Rep. Tom Reed said Biden's announcement sent an 'important' message but 'again highlights the necessity of tapping into America's own precious natural resources for our national security and to help ease the pain of inflation for the American people.'
Utah GOP Rep. Chris Stewart questioned why Biden was looking at places like Venezuela and Iran to fill the need.
He added, 'U.S. shale producers can increase production twice as fast as Venezuelan oil companies, and the profits would go to American workers rather than another dictatorship.'
Senator Bill Hagerty of Tennessee said Biden should have pushed US drilling in his speech.
'I welcome a Russian energy ban, but it must be replaced by American energy production, not begging Iran/Venezuela for oil. Working with killers over American drillers is outrageous,' Hagerty said on Twitter.
Moderate Republican Senator Susan Collins of Maine urged continued cooperation with Europe while reasserting the need for American energy independence.
''We must continue working with European allies to reduce dependence on Russian energy. Rather than turning to authoritarians in the Middle East and South America, we should immediately boost U.S. energy production to lower the soaring price of gas and heating oil,' Collins said.
Wisconsin Rep. Bryan Steil stated: 'Now that we are ending reliance on Russia for oil, we need to replace it with American oil.'
Rep. Dan Meuser of Pennsylvania -- one of the top energy producing states in the union -- demanded Biden reopen the Keystone XL pipeline to help increase the US oil supply.
'The US was a net exporter of oil in 2020, but under Biden we became a net importer in 2021, and remains so today. With the Keystone XL Pipeline we would have imported over 100k gallons from Canada, rather than the 70k from Russia we currently import,' Meuser said.
Tennessee Rep. Mark Green said the oil and gas import ban 'should’ve been President Biden’s very first action.'
US oil and gas companies are also pledging to help alleviate the strain. Exxon Mobil and Chevron, two of the world's largest fossil fuel producers, said this week that they would ramp up crude oil production at sites in Texas and New Mexico, Politico reported.
As the president visits the Lone Star State today, its Republican Congressional delegation is demanding he tap into the state's fossil fuel resources.
'Joe Biden is in Texas today but won’t meet with energy producers to find out what’s needed to increase production, reduce prices, and reduce dependence on foreign oil. Instead, this White House would rather meet with Venezuela and Iran,' Rep. Dan Crenshaw wrote on Twitter.
The president pointed out during his speech that the US produced more oil during his first year in office than during Donald Trump's first year in 2017
Rep. Randy Weber said Biden's claim his White House wasn't behind rising fuel costs is 'ludicrous.'
'For over a year, the Biden Administration has halted new federal leasing. Worse, Biden has canceled energy infrastructure, blocked energy development in Alaska, and gleefully pushed punitive new taxes on the U.S. energy industry. Taken together, Biden’s actions discourage future investment by signaling that oil and gas aren’t in America’s future energy mix. I won’t let Biden bamboozle the American public by suggesting the energy crisis is anyone’s fault but his,' Weber said.