When it comes to President Joe Biden’s energy policies, he has earned “an F,” says Rep. Matt Rosendale, R-Mont.
Rosendale is one of 221 Republicans who voted Thursday in support of a bill, HR 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act. The vote was 225-204 with four Democrats joining the Republican majority and one GOP member voting against it.
The legislation, which passed in the House, would “lower energy costs by increasing American energy production, exports, infrastructure, and critical minerals processing, by promoting transparency, accountability, permitting, and production of American resources, and by improving water quality certification and energy projects, and for other purposes,” according to the bill’s text.
Rosendale and Rep. Harriet Hageman, R-Wyo., join “The Daily Signal Podcast” to explain what is included in the bill and to discuss how Biden’s handling of America’s energy resources has affected the economy and even U.S. national security.
Listen to the podcast below or read the lightly edited transcript:
Virginia Allen: We are joined today by Congressman [Matt] Rosendale. Congressman, thank you so much for your time today.
Rep. Matt Rosendale: Great to be here with you, Virginia. Thanks for having me on.
Allen: Something that every American wants is lower energy costs. We all want to be paying less for gas, less for our heating at home. Now, right now Congress is considering HR 1. Tell us what exactly this bill is and how it would actually help to lower energy costs across America.
Rosendale: So, I think we really can look at a three-prong operation here. One, we’re going to make sure that our mining operations can be permitted faster. We’ve got a lot of critical minerals located across the country. We have discovered that we are far too dependent on China and other adversaries, foreign adversaries, to produce those minerals. So we’re going to increase our own domestic production.
The next thing is that we have to get our domestic energy production increased as well. The Biden administration has reduced it by nearly about 2 million barrels a day, crude oil. And that is not only hurtful to our economy, it’s driving the inflation rates up even higher, but it also puts us in a position where our foreign adversaries can take advantage of us as well, puts us in a national security risk.
And then that’s the third prong of it, is to increase the pipelines and the refinery capacity that we have here domestically, make sure that we put the permits in place to allow that to happen.
And again, that not only helps us and to reduce our inflation, get our energy costs down, and increase our national security position, but also puts us in a position to help our allies overseas with exports so that they are not reliant upon foreign adversaries as well.
Allen: Talk a little bit more about how this bill would help other countries. And what’s the message—if Congress passes HR 1, President Joe Biden signs it, what message does that send to China?
Rosendale: Well, it starts turning things back around.
We saw the Biden administration, as soon as they took office, that they were closing down our domestic energy production by cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline. They lifted the economic sanctions on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline, which empowered and enriched Russia.
And so what this will do is send a signal across the world that we are ramping up our domestic energy production and that we are going to help our allies. And one of the most strong ways that we can help our allies is to make sure that they have access to low-cost energy as well.
Allen: Now, some Democrats are claiming that this bill is just a giveaway to big oil companies. What’s your response to that?
Rosendale: I visited a wind farm 30 miles north of Miles City that would not have been possible if not for a $30 million subsidy that was provided by the Green New Deal provisions of the Biden administration.
What they call support is really just making reasonable fees that were in place before the Biden administration. And so there’s no handouts, there’s no gimmes or subsidies involved in this legislation. What it does is it gets government out of the way and just reduces the bureaucratic red tape that producers need to go through in order to access our domestic energy.
Allen: When you consider President Joe Biden’s energy policies over the last few years since he took office, what grade would you give him for those policies?
Rosendale: It’s not just me, it’s the country, they gave him an F, and that’s because he eliminated the production of just about 2 million barrels a day of crude oil. And when you take that out of the marketplace, it drives cost up. It’s a very simple policy of supply and demand.
And the cost of energy is on a global market. And when you take that much production out of the equation and the demand stays about the same or increases, then the cost is going to go up.
And this has not only hurt our economy and drove inflation cost up, but again, it has compromised our national security as well, putting us in a position where we had to start tapping into a strategic petroleum reserve.
Allen: If we can get to a point where we are significantly energy-independent, what does that change in America? What will that mean for the American people, for our economy?
Rosendale: So, it changes the entire dynamic of how we look at things. What it will do is help to bring down the cost of inflation, which drives—it’s basically a tax on every single product that you purchase, from your groceries to your pharmaceuticals to the new automobile. It drives the cost of everything up.
And so it will also put us in a position where we are not reliant upon foreign adversaries for energy, which puts us in a much stronger position from a national security standpoint.
So it will improve the economy, it will strengthen our national security, and then put us in a stronger position as we go around the globe and start making negotiations, whether they are trade agreements or otherwise.
Allen: How likely do you think it is that HR 1 actually becomes the law of the land and we take a step toward becoming more energy-independent as Americans?
Rosendale: I think that it’s going to pass through the House very easily. When it goes over to the Senate, I still think that it will probably pass because you have several very vulnerable senators on the Democrat side that are facing difficult elections coming up. So I think that they’re just going to go ahead and vote for it.
And then it will land on the president’s desk, and he’s going to have to make a decision about whether he’s going to stand with the people of America or whether he’s going to stand with the tyrants and our adversaries around the world.
Allen: Congressman, thank you for your time today. Really appreciate it.
Rosendale: Thanks, Virginia.
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