U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks Thursday on the Senate floor regarding energy:
“Families across America have felt the brunt of this all-Democratic government’s failed energy policies.
“When gas prices were skyrocketing, the Biden Administration insisted up and down they had no control over them. When the prices started to level off, the same politicians asked for a round of applause.
“Funny how that works.
“Here’s what working families in Kentucky know: That a gallon of gas costs over a full dollar more than before President Biden took office.
“American families and small businesses know their electricity bills skyrocketed this spring and summer.
“And they know that heating costs on Democrats’ watch this fall and winter may be catastrophic.
“Just like our overall 13.2% inflation since January 2021 is directly traceable to Democrats’ reckless spending, a lot of our energy crisis is traceable to Democrats’ shortsighted policies.
“Democrats have spent 20 years saying we shouldn’t explore for American energy. That our abundant fossil fuel resources should stay in the ground.
“Just in the last two years, Democrats overwhelmingly voted two separate times to let the Biden E.P.A. ban fracking. One analysis showed the kind of fracking ban Democrats want quadruple household energy bills!
“Democrats supported President Biden’s de facto bans on both offshore and onshore oil and gas leasing.
“They backed President Biden’s decision to cancel Keystone XL. I guess it’s better to import Middle Eastern crude than safely transport oil from Canada.
“They voted for reckless tax hikes, including a natural gas tax that will directly drive up families’ heating costs.
“And this week marks the six-month anniversary of when President Biden began his reckless draining of our Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a desperate attempt to buy up his poll numbers.
“President Biden has already released more than 200 million barrels from the Reserve into the international market, more than all other Presidents combined.
“A few days ago he promised to release an additional 10 million barrels in early November.
“Our country established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as a lifeline for national security crises. Until now, Presidents had only ever tapped it for armed conflicts or natural disasters.
“Now Democrats are emptying out our emergency reserves in a desperate attempt to save their political skins. Reckless and cynical does not even begin to cover it.
“Now the Reserve sits at its lowest point since 1984. If our country were cut off from oil imports tomorrow, we’d have less than two months’ supply.
“And remember, Madam President — two years ago, in the early COVID crisis, when markets were temporarily crashing and oil was selling for bargain-basement prices like we’d never seen, Republicans tried to refill the Strategic Reserve to the top.
“It would have been a win for economic stability, a win for national security, and a huge win for taxpayers. Oil was on clearance sale and we could have filled the Reserve to the top.
“But Senate Democrats blocked it. And bragged about blocking it. Leader Schumer boasted in writing that he’d blocked a ‘bailout for big oil.’
“Typical tired, old liberal rhetoric. What our Democratic colleagues blocked was an unbelievably good deal for the American people.
“Now they’re draining the Reserve they wouldn’t let us refill. And when they do need to refill it, you better believe taxpayers won’t be paying March 2020 prices.
“Shortsighted, ineffective, and bad economics. That’s Democrats’ energy policies in microcosm.
“Working Americans pay the price every day.”