America Can Take These Steps Towards Power Independence, Rep. Garret Graves Explains

As gasoline costs rise, the Biden administration is “in search of somebody responsible, and sadly they actually simply want to show and have a look at themselves,” Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., says. 

The Biden administration “talks about environmental sustainability, [but] they don’t take into consideration financial sustainability as properly,” Graves says, including that with regards to vitality coverage, President Joe Biden appears to be “governing by emotion, not by reality, science, and economics.” 

Graves, who heads the Power, Local weather, and Conservation process power for the Home’s GOP caucus, joins “The Each day Sign Podcast” from the Home Republican Points Convention in Florida to debate Biden’s mishandling of American vitality coverage, and what lawmakers can do within the lengthy and brief time period to decrease gasoline costs and transfer the nation again towards vitality independence. 

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  • Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis indicators into legislation a invoice designed to stop lecturers from providing instruction on sexual orientation or gender id to kids in third grade or youthful.

Take heed to the podcast under or learn the calmly edited transcript:

Virginia Allen: Fuel costs are at an all-time excessive. Everyone seems to be asking, “Is there an finish in sight?” Properly, right here with us to reply that query is Congressman Garret Graves of Louisiana, who additionally serves on the Home Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. Congressman, thanks a lot for being right here.

Rep. Garret Graves: You wager. Thanks for having me.

Allen: So Congressman, President [Joe] Biden has stated that top gasoline costs are a results of Russia invading Ukraine and the U.S. making the choice to not purchase oil from Russia. Is that this correct? Is Russia actually responsible for our excessive gasoline costs on the pump?

Graves: Properly, to start with, it’s vital to convey just a little little bit of details into the query right here. So, you possibly can return and you’ll look and instantly after the presidential election in 2020, you started seeing a sluggish creeping of gasoline costs simply in anticipation of what was going to occur.

When President Biden was sworn in on the primary day, he signed an govt order stopping new vitality manufacturing, stopping initiatives that had already been authorized and have been within the implementation course of. From then on, simply went by way of and threw up impediment and obstacle, impediment and obstacle to U.S. vitality manufacturing. So that you equally noticed a constant enhance in costs from his Inauguration Day on.

Now, did costs go up once more at a quicker charge when [Russian President Vladimir] Putin invaded Ukraine? Sure, however the cause was as a result of over the past yr, President Biden elevated our dependence upon Russian crude oil by 161%.

So if we had simply produced extra domestically, we wouldn’t have wanted the Russian oil, which meant that once they banned Russian oil, it wouldn’t have had any influence on america.

So these have been all self-imposed issues. They’re in search of somebody responsible, and sadly they actually simply want to show and have a look at themselves.

Allen: Properly, and even talking of blaming folks, we’ve even seen how Speaker Nancy Pelosi lay blame on the ft of oil corporations. In America, she stated that we name on business to spice up manufacturing and cease hoarding earnings. Are these corporations doing that? Are they hoarding earnings? Are they stunting manufacturing?

Graves: Properly, Virginia, simply give it some thought for only a minute. In the event you had the power to provide much more vitality and also you see the place costs are at the moment, the place you would make $100-plus a barrel of oil, gasoline costs have considerably elevated for pure gasoline as properly, why would you sit there and hoard it or maintain it within the floor?

Now, have there been some actions by the administration to create uncertainty or to impose extra rules and restrictions on our American vitality business? Completely. They’re doing all these environmental and social justice targets. We not too long ago had the Securities and Change Fee inform corporations they needed to report their greenhouse gases to the Securities and Change Fee, a financial-related federal company.

So, they’re thwarting or they’re blocking funding in oil and gasoline and American oil and gasoline, they’re imposing new rules, they’re imposing new price. Every thing that you just’re seeing proper now associated to increased vitality costs actually are self-imposed by this administration. I’ll say it once more, this was preventable.

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Allen: How was it preventable? What are the issues that the Biden administration ought to have been doing?

Graves: Properly, so, in case you look again in the course of the Trump administration, we maintained worth certainty, you noticed way more constant costs. One other reality that you just don’t ever hear mentioned within the media, we really had decrease greenhouse gasoline submissions, and we had increased vitality safety or self-dependence, vitality independence, or vitality dominance, as former Inside Secretary [Ryan] Zinke used to seek advice from it.

So, this isn’t one thing, “Oh gosh, we’ve to do Operation Warp Velocity,” that is merely return and reverse the flawed insurance policies that you just put in place that acquired us on this quandary at the moment.

Allen: I’ve spoken with plenty of folks not too long ago who’ve introduced up the Keystone pipeline and who discuss how building ought to have continued on the Keystone XL pipeline. How would that have an effect on American oil manufacturing? I imply, gained’t it take years for the Keystone pipeline to be producing oil and actually getting oil to the American folks?

Graves: Properly, first, let’s check out their choice. They stated they rejected it or shut it down or prevented the undertaking from transferring ahead as a result of they stated it might end in higher greenhouse gasoline emissions. But simply the opposite day, The White Home press secretary stated that all the oil was being produced anyway, it was simply being transported by totally different measures.

Look, in case you’re involved in regards to the atmosphere, lowest emissions is a pipeline. Most secure means, fewest spills is a pipeline. So, what are you doing? On the similar time, they lifted restrictions on the Nord Stream 2 pipeline to permit Vladimir Putin to construct his pipeline whereas limiting ours.

So look, I’ve acquired to be truthful right here. If the Keystone undertaking wasn’t stopped, would it not resolve all of our issues at the moment? No, it wouldn’t resolve all our issues at the moment. However let’s consider, you began out asking about what the longer term appears to be like like, and we’re not on a trajectory to unravel this drawback, we’re not on a trajectory to see considerably decrease costs proper now.

So we should be pondering not nearly what’s the answer for at the moment, however what’s the answer for a yr from now, from 5 years from now, from 10 years from now, to the place we get ourselves out of this gap that the Biden administration has dug us into.

Allen: Yeah, properly, and we’ve seen from the Biden administration that they’re beginning to contemplate, “OK, the place will we purchase oil from if we’re not shopping for it from Russia?” Trying towards Venezuela, Saudi Arabia. What’s your response to this?

Graves: Oh, look, in case you assume that going from one authoritarian regime or dictator, Vladimir Putin, to turning to Venezuela, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or what they’re pushing on renewable vitality performs into China’s fingers—I imply, do you really want to proceed to place your hand on the range and get burned time and again and time and again earlier than you understand, “Hey, perhaps I ought to cease doing that”? We will’t double and triple down on these methods that don’t work.

It’s not simply different nations. Have a look at states like California which have been very aggressive on their local weather change initiatives, they’ve acquired the eighth-worst emissions progress within the nation, they’re essentially the most dependent state on international vitality, twice the electrical energy charges in my house state of Louisiana. Which of this stuff do you assume is profitable that you just wish to mannequin after? These are damaging insurance policies.

You’ve seen errors within the U.Okay. the place they tried to maneuver to wind too aggressively and didn’t have enough vitality sources up in New England. They stopped with pure gasoline pipelines, had to herald liquified pure gasoline from Russia, from Vladimir Putin.

I imply, you possibly can’t make these things up, disgrace on this administration. If they’ll’t study from successes and failures, the successes of the earlier administration, the failures of states and the U.Okay. and Germany that attempted to maneuver too aggressively in a unique course, it’s not going to have an final result any totally different than we’ve seen in these different locations.

Allen: Is there something that lawmakers might be doing to get gasoline costs down proper now?

Graves: I believe that there are issues we might be doing within the brief, mid and long run, and I believe that sadly, among the choices we’ve out there to us for the brief time period are restricted, as a result of the Biden administration thwarted American vitality manufacturing, as a result of they’ve put a lot regulatory hurdles and burdens in entrance of our business.

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However I do assume that releasing extra strategic petroleum reserve vitality, working with our American oil and gasoline producers and giving them predictability and regulatory reduction, stopping the blocking of investing in our standard vitality business in america, these are issues we might be doing within the brief time period. However it could actually’t simply be that, we’ve acquired to acknowledge you need to resume home manufacturing of vitality for our sort of one in five-year technique.

For 10-year technique, wanting on the growing function that inevitably renewable vitality sources are going to play, and even issues like next-generation nuclear, small modular reactors, and others. There are alternatives there, but it surely’s going to take a plan and we’re going to must have the regulatory compatibility, the funding compatibility with it.

All people within the Biden administration talks about environmental sustainability, they don’t take into consideration financial sustainability as properly. It’s a extremely vital a part of the equation that every one of them appear to have simply forgotten, as a result of they’re governing by emotion, not by reality, science, and economics.

Allen: I wish to get your ideas on Pete Buttigieg’s tenure as secretary of transportation. What grade would you give him?

Graves: Properly, to start with, personally had the prospect to fulfill with him, speak to him, I believe he’s a very nice man. So simply personally, I do, I believe he’s a pleasant man.

One of many first issues that they did once they got here in is that they stated, “Hey, we’re going to introduce new standards that’s going to information how we hand out cash for infrastructure initiatives. It’s going to be local weather change, racial fairness, environmental justice, enhancing union alternatives.” They got here later and stated they’re going to have a look at how they’ll change the trajectory of marginalized communities and traditionally deprived communities.

So look, these issues, I don’t have an issue with a few of them, however how do you measure how a street undertaking impacts environmental justice or racial fairness? I’m not actual certain. The truth is there’s not standards to actually measure that.

So once they got here out they usually began doing their multibillions of {dollars} in grants, my house state of Louisiana, one of many highest African American populations in America, one of many states most vulnerable to sea rise, after $2 billion was handed out, we acquired $18.5 million and it was to extend fare assortment for New Orleans’ transit system.

I imply, one, I believe that … they politicized these investments, which, roads and bridges shouldn’t be political. They began giving out grants for infrastructure to deal with well being inequities and constructing 13 strolling trails and bike trails with gasoline tax revenues, they’re speculated to go to roads and bridges.

So I believe that they’ve actually sort of distorted what America’s priorities are in regard to our infrastructure wants and addressing site visitors options and mobility options.

Then lastly, on the regulatory aspect, within the infrastructure invoice that I opposed, they did have a provision in there that I used to be supportive of that attempted to expedite the regulatory approval course of. It takes seven years to get by way of an environmental evaluation on a street, and so there was language in there that expedited it. Thus far, they’ve simply ignored it. It’s within the legislation they usually’ve simply ignored it. So it’s been fairly irritating working with them.

Allen: Yeah. I wish to get your ideas on one thing that’s just a little bit extra sort of within the weeds of this dialog round vitality coverage and that’s fracking. We all know from environmental teams, anytime you sort of say the phrase fracking, there’s a number of pushback straight away. May you clarify just a bit bit, first, about what’s fracking after which, do you assume it’s an efficient resolution to truly resolve among the vitality disaster that we’re dealing with proper now?

Graves: Certain. So, fracking has actually simply been a revolution in america, it’s brought on an vitality revolution. We’re the highest pure gasoline producer on the planet, and we’re one of many high producers of oil. That has largely been the results of sort of this fracking revolution.

I suppose a better solution to clarify it might be that as a substitute of simply going after these giant reservoirs of oil or gasoline that could be beneath the floor, you really go in and create extra strain and rock formations, which then causes among the trapped oil and gasoline to come back out. So, that’s largely what fracking is and does.

We present in Texas, and in North Dakota, in Pennsylvania, and my house state of Louisiana, in Ohio, we’ve discovered large reserves of vitality there that we’ve been in a position to produce, we’ve been in a position to assist enhance the affordability or lower vitality costs in america. We’re now exporting pure gasoline to 36 nations.

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So as a substitute of them being dependent upon Russia or others, they’re getting it from america. Financial exercise, jobs right here, we’re exporting oil, I consider it’s to a dozen nations around the globe.

So look, the fact is, and that is the place this administration doesn’t appear to grasp, the fact is that even the Biden administration says there’s going to be a 50% enhance in world vitality demand over the subsequent 28 years, 50%. It’s going to come back from someplace. Why not produce it right here the place we produce it cleaner and safer than anyplace else on the planet, or not less than within the high three, fairly than letting Vladimir Putin produce it, letting Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, Iran?

Look, I’m all for American jobs, these are the folks we signify. I would like American financial exercise. I actually don’t have a powerful need to go make use of people, Russians and Iranians and others and Venezuelans. It’s simply probably not what our precedence ought to be at this level. So fracking’s been a revolution, it’s been nice. There’s been a number of, I believe, misinformation.

One factoid from the Nationwide Power Know-how Labs, Russian pure gasoline is about 41% dirtier when delivered to Europe, as in comparison with fracked gasoline in america. So it’s really decrease greenhouse gasoline emissions, higher for the atmosphere. So, there’s actually not an upside to depart it within the floor primarily based on vitality demand proper now.

Allen: Yeah. Yeah, no, that’s fascinating. And I believe we hear this time period thrown round rather a lot, of vitality independence. What does that really imply, although, for America? What would that seem like for America to not be importing any oil, gasoline from different nations? I imply, are there geopolitical benefits to importing oil from different nations or do you assume there’s really extra benefits to not importing something?

Graves: Properly, we are able to take this dialog actually far south and get into heavy crude, gentle crude, candy crude, bitter crude, and type of among the world markets there, however I’ll keep away from that and never put folks to sleep and simply say that, look, having financial relationships with different nations is definitely one thing that I believe is useful in case you create financial relationships. In lots of instances, not all, you develop higher allegiances in different areas as properly, perhaps protection cooperation or what have you ever.

So I believe you can’t look too myopically at america, I believe you need to do it from a lens of what’s greatest for america and for our residents that we’re speculated to be prioritizing and representing.

However vitality independence or vitality dominance, this was really achieved. We had web vitality independence in america by some measure in 2019, however definitely in 2020 in the course of the Trump administration.

What which means is that we could also be importing some vitality if we wanted a heavier oil or what have you ever from one other nation, however we have been exporting extra of that quantity than we have been bringing in. So on the finish of the day, we’re a web exporter of vitality.

Let me say it yet one more time, Virginia, this is essential. There’s going to be an enormous surge in demand for pure gasoline, demand for oil, demand for renewable vitality applied sciences, nuclear vitality applied sciences, and all this stuff. Why not have that come out of america?

Make use of People on the exploration and manufacturing aspect, the manufacturing, the pipelines, the exporting of it. Why not let that be People versus going on the market and having these residents of different nations that simply take these {dollars} after which problem us militarily or perhaps our financial curiosity or allies around the globe? It simply doesn’t make sense.

Sadly, I imply, to return to a time period I used earlier than, I believe the vitality worth disaster that we’re experiencing proper now could be completely a results of inexperienced policymakers making dangerous selections primarily based on emotion, not reality, and now People are paying the worth for it.

Allen: Congressman, thanks a lot to your time, we actually, actually respect it.

Graves: You wager. Thanks.

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