This Fourth of July, families across the country will again join in celebrating the beginnings of the greatest experiment in self-governance in history.
On this joyous occasion, many will be feeling anxious about the future as, unsurprisingly, most Americans think the economy is headed in the wrong direction. During the Biden Administration, they have seen their grocery bills jump by nearly 20% and energy bills rise by more than 30%. And on the world stage, with Russian aggression in Ukraine and Chinese spy balloons floating over American military bases, the consequences of weak leadership feel closer to home. However, as always, the American promise offers an unending source of hope for a brighter future. This year, we can embrace this promise by adopting another declaration: an energy declaration of independence.
The story of the Biden Administration’s approach to energy policy can largely be summarized as one that embraces American dependence. The Left’s radical climate plans for a government-led energy transition to decarbonization have embraced a zero-sum, degrowth vision for the future of U.S. energy policy.
The Biden Administration has chosen a Washington-led energy plan of burdensome regulations and ballooning subsidies. Unsurprisingly, an open regulatory war on American production of traditional energy and massive subsidies for unreliable, intermittent renewables such as wind and solar have placed the U.S. on a deeply precarious energy road. While the Left’s vision for a “green” utopia becomes muddied and muddled, the damage to American strength is increasingly evident and includes painful inflation and international vulnerabilities.
At the domestic level, the Left is leading a march to government dependence. With trillions in energy subsidy spending and a massive expansion of the regulatory state, Washington is increasingly in the driver’s seat on American energy. Instead of the traditional competition and ingenuity of American innovation meeting American energy needs, central planning is stacking the deck in favor of unreliable, intermittent energy. This market manipulation means expensive, unreliable energy for millions of Americans.
And with increasingly radical climate goals, no decision is too small for government interference. Expansive regulatory pushes from gas stove bans to de facto electric vehicle mandates now seek to make the average American depend on Washington bureaucrats for decisions as minute as what kind of stove they can cook with or car they can drive.
Unfortunately, the dependence does not stop with American businesses and families depending on our government. The U.S. is becoming increasingly dependent on our adversaries for energy.
Take U.S. oil production, which is now an estimated almost 3 million barrels a day below where it would be had the Biden Administration continued the pro-growth policies of the Trump Administration. The Left’s attack on the American traditional energy production that underpins our economic strength has dramatically outpaced any promised alternatives. Instead of policies conducive to responsible American energy production, the Biden Administration has delivered the American people back into dependence on the whims of OPEC+.
Unfortunately, the march to dependence does not stop with OPEC+. The Biden Administration’s embrace of “renewable” energy is marked by increased reliance on China for critical minerals. Yet, even with plans to radically increase U.S. mineral demand, the Biden Administration has blocked key mining projects here at home. Their support for “build-nothing” environmental activism is now leading us back into the hands of Saudi Arabia and forward into the hands of China.
Fortunately, from its very inception, the U.S. has never been a nation of dependence — we have never depended on foreign princes or unelected bureaucrats in Washington. Instead, we are a nation conceived in liberty. This Independence Day, it is time for our leaders to recognize the fundamental nature of this great nation and embrace a pro-energy, pro-growth, pro-independence agenda.
America must reject the regulatory war on our energy and instead embrace the energy freedom that comes from harnessing our abundant natural resources and creating an environment conducive to American innovation and ingenuity. We must create a level playing field for energy competition and innovation. America must increase our international strength by embracing responsible American energy and exporting security to our allies, not a growing reliance on our adversaries. We must place choices in the hands of consumers, not central planners. We must reject zero-sum scenarios and government-forced austerity. It is time to embrace energy abundance, growth, and prosperity.
Americans know what energy freedom looks like. An America liberated from foreign and domestic tyranny. A prosperous, growing America. An America that shines as a city on a hill, lending strength to her friends and standing firm against her adversaries. An America that boldly declares energy independence.