WASHINGTON—US Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) this week called out Senate Democrats for blocking a bill offered by Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) that would direct the US Energy Information Agency (EIA) to determine whether any executive order or action taken by the Biden administration has caused or contributed to the recent spike in energy prices. Senate Democrats objected to passage of S.3086, the Give Americans Stability at Pumps as Rising Inflation Causes Emergencies (GAS PRICE) Act, by unanimous consent. Sullivan has argued for months that the Biden administration’s energy policies—blocking energy infrastructure, pressing the financial sector to blackball American energy, and appointing anti-US energy senior financial officials, among others—have contributed to the historic spikes in energy prices that are devastating working families.
“We need Senator Scott’s legislation because the Biden administration, the President himself, has put out all of these ideas on why Americans are getting crushed by inflation and high costs at the pump,” said Sen. Sullivan. “Yet, the one thing the President has not thought about—’Maybe my own administration’s policies are driving up energy costs.’ By the way, it’s not ‘maybe;’ it’s ‘certainly’…The reason my [Democratic] colleague objected and then ran off the floor without saying anything is because everybody here knows what the answer is going to be: Joe Biden has done this. It is his policies that are driving up energy costs.”
Mr. President, I want to explain to any American who is watching just what happened here because, to be honest, it is kind of shocking what just took place.
Senator Scott came down to the floor. He had a bill, S. 3086. Normally when you have a bill that is considered pretty noncontroversial, you can come down and do what is called a unanimous consent, which is you ask the Senate: Do you want to pass the bill? And if anyone objects, they actually have to come down and object in the Senate Chamber.
So what does S. 3086 bill do? Here is the language: “to require the Energy Information Administration to submit to Congress and make publicly available an annual report on Federal Agency policies and regulations and Executive orders that have increased or may increase energy prices in the United States.” That is it. That is it. That is the bill. It is one page–less than one page. It is two paragraphs.
All we were doing was asking, why are energy prices in America going through the roof, and is the Federal Government contributing to that through its actions and regulations? It is a really important question. Why is it an important question? It is an important question because when you get out of this bubble in DC and you go home–like I was just home in Alaska last weekend–energy costs and inflation are the No. 1 issue hurting American families–the No. 1 issue. So shouldn’t we in the Senate want to know why it is happening?
Now, look, what else happened here–a little bit of inside baseball in the Senate–when a Senator comes down and objects to a UC, usually he gives a strong reason why–strong: Here is my reason why this bill is bad for the country, and I am going to object.
You may have seen my colleague object and say “I am getting the heck out of here; I am not going to explain this” because there is no reason to object to this–none. So he objected and left. He didn’t try to defend objecting to this, because every American wants to know.
It is the biggest issue back home, but here is another reason we need the bill: because this President has come up with excuse after excuse after excuse on why energy costs since he got into office have gone through the roof. Let me give you a couple of examples.
He first said: Well, we are emerging from the pandemic, and the supply chain couldn’t keep up with demand.
All right, if that is really true, let the Energy Information Administration–of the Biden administration, by the way–see if that is one of the reasons.
OK. Then he said: Well, shoot, the pandemic is kind of over so it is Putin’s invasion of Ukraine that is driving the increase in energy prices. Putin’s unprovoked, brutal war–which it is unprovoked and brutal–has led to higher energy prices.
And President Biden then started to say it is Putin’s price hike. No one is buying that one either because energy prices were spiking way before the brutal invasion of Ukraine.
So then the President started saying: Well, it is COVID and Putin. OK. Then he started blaming the oil companies. Then he started to say: Well, we have all these amazing permits that we want the oil companies drilling on, but they are not using them.
So we need Senator Scott’s legislation because the Biden administration, the President himself, has put out all these ideas on why are getting crushed by inflation and high costs at the pump Americans. Yet the one thing the President hasn’t done, has never talked about, is he hasn’t looked internally and said: Hmm, maybe it is my own administration’s policies that are driving up energy costs. Maybe. By the way, it is not maybe; it is certainly. And my colleagues have talked about this. Heck, I talked about this earlier today. I talk about it every day because it is crushing my home State and my constituents.
But what we want the Energy Information Administration to look at is possibly these reasons: Day 1, this administration came in and said: We are going to limit production of American energy.
Anyone who went to econ 101 in college knows that when you start to limit supply, prices go up. Well, that is a culprit.
No. 2, from day 1, they said: We are going to shut down, kill, and delay moving energy through infrastructure–pipelines, LNG terminals. They are doing that all the time. So that is a policy, those are Executive orders limiting the ability to move energy. That sends up costs.
No. 3 is that they have actively gone to the American financial sector–the Biden administration–and told them not to invest in American energy, choking off capital. That increases prices.
So Senator Scott’s bill would simply ask the experts in the Federal Government, the Energy Information Administration, to just take a look: What is driving up the cost of American energy? What is crushing middle-class working families?
And the reason my colleague objected and then ran off the floor without saying anything is because everybody here knows what the answer is going to be: Joe Biden has done this. It is his policies that are driving up energy costs.
And here is the thing that Senator Lee touched on, and this is the thing that should scare everybody. It is likely purposeful. Pain is the point. They are all talking about this wonderful, glorious transition. Gina McCarthy talks about: Hey, if the prices go up, it will accelerate the transition to renewables. They don’t give a damn about the people who are suffering. It is all this green utopia stuff.
All we are asking for is what is driving up the cost of energy on the backs of working-class Americans? That is it. A two-paragraph bill, and my colleagues came and objected to it. And every American should know this. They don’t want you to know what we all know, which is this: The pain at the pump is the purposeful policies of the Biden administration, and the American people are paying for it.
We want the Federal Government to look into the details of this, and the Democrats were just now objecting to that transparent information request. And, in my view, it is shameful.
I yield the floor.
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