Carla Sands: Turn the lights back on for domestic energy production

Joe Biden and Congressional Democrats have made $4 a gallon gas the new normal; it doesn’t have to be!

The Russian invasion of Ukraine has highlighted and exacerbated the energy crisis at home. While the Biden administration and Democrats in Washington have been laying the blame for high gas prices at the feet of the energy companies, crying “corporate greed,” or even blaming “Vladimir Putin.” The reality is that the Biden administration should take a long look in the mirror as they bear direct responsibility for the energy crisis impacting American families.

After all, Biden killed the Keystone XL Pipeline, paused leases for energy development, proposed new regulations on the energy industry, threatened higher taxes, and warned banks not to make investments in our energy development.

Rather than continuing to implement a failed agenda, and relying on energy from Iran, Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and even Russia, we need to look to American energy workers to solve our energy crisis. Domestic Energy Independence is National Security. 

We can do better. We need elected officials in Washington who have the courage to put America First. That means prioritizing domestic energy production to make our nation more secure by creating family-sustaining jobs and lowering gas prices at the pump and energy prices at home.

Paying higher energy prices directly results from Biden’s embrace of the radical ‘Green New Deal’ crowd. And it isn’t just the pain at the pump. Businesses use energy to power their factories, make their products and deliver them to stores. Shopping at the grocery store and going out to eat costs more and there is an overall drain on consumer confidence in the economy. Further, Biden’s anti-energy policies are regressive, harming struggling families the most

It’s time to shift course and unleash America’s cleanly harvested energy potential with commonsense regulations. Capitalizing on America’s abundance of natural resources is not just strong economic and consumer-friendly policy but sensible environmental policy, too. Drilling bans in the U.S. isn’t going to stop the oil flowing from Saudi Arabia or the natural gas flowing from Russia. Instead, it will pave the way for dirtier energy producers whose interests are hostile to the United States to capture more of the market. In fact, it is America’s shale gas revolution is responsible for the U.S. being a global leader in greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

Americans have stood up and addressed problems head-on throughout our nation’s history. Our nation was forged on the American worker’s blood, sweat, and patriotism, and Pennsylvania led that effort. We can lead again. The coal mined and the steel forged in Pittsburgh were used to build our country. Natural gas from western, central, and northeast Pennsylvania can rebuild it today. 

Pennsylvania’s economy has already benefited significantly from domestic energy production. A July 2021 study from PricewaterhouseCoopers found that, in 2019, the oil and gas industry “$78.3 billion in economic impact, paying roughly $40.4 billion in wages, and supporting more than 480,000 direct and indirect jobs in the state.”

Pennsylvania can help America become energy independent, and we can be energy dominant again. 

The political class and the swamp in Washington have failed us, as they still embrace an agenda that provides economic incentives that benefit nations that hate America. We need an independent voice who will put America and Pennsylvania First. I will be that voice, and I will unleash American energy. 

How? We must create a plan and urgency to become energy dominant in twelve months. We need an Operation Warp Speed for Domestic Energy Production. Let’s create a task force, partner with our energy and transportation companies and American workers, and work to generate as much energy as possible as quickly as possible. That starts with eliminating energy and job-killing regulations, granting additional permits (including on federal land), and freeing up banks to allow investments in domestic energy. 

Americans deserve stable, secure sources of energy. As Pennsylvania’s next U.S. Senator, this would be my mission. I will be Pennsylvania’s Energy Senator and turn the lights back on for domestic energy production.