This op-ed by Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) first appeared in The Farmerville Gazette on June 9, 2022.
Most Louisianians get up every day, go to work, obey the law, pay their taxes, and try to save a little money for retirement while living in the greatest country in all of human history. But Louisianians are struggling under the Biden administration’s war on American energy.
President Biden took office on January 20 of last year, which means that America is now 17 months into “Build Back Better.” From where Louisianians sit, though, nothing has been built, nothing is back, and nothing is better. Inflation and gas prices are still soaring, and wages haven’t caught up. At the start of the president’s term, Louisianians paid about $2 for a gallon of gas. Today, the price is roughly $4.45. That means moms are forking out close to $90 to fill up their minivans. It’s not just gasoline that’s breaking household budgets. A dozen eggs now costs more than $2.50. Ground beef is way above $5 per pound, and chicken is over $4 per pound. The list goes on, and it’s connected to energy prices. Much of our food, clothing, pharmaceuticals, and other basic goods arrive in our stores by air, truck, or tanker — all of which run on fossil fuel. As a result, Biden’s constant attacks on the oil and gas industry aren’t just forcing oil prices higher — they’re stoking inflation across Louisiana’s economy.
President Biden has canceled leases on federal lands in the Gulf of Mexico when Louisianians could be drilling there and helping recover America’s energy independence. President Biden has also created new strict regulations on oil and gas producers that could make it nearly impossible to open new pipelines in America.
What’s even more curious to me is that, despite the Biden administration’s claims that it is kneecapping America’s oil production for so-called environmental reasons, the White House insists that the U.S. must purchase foreign oil from countries that bring that fuel to our shores in tankers. Those tankers use 2,000 gallons of fuel and emit eight tons of carbon dioxide into the environment every hour. This White House is beyond tone deaf.
Now, President Biden has said he has no control over the price of oil or gasoline. But it’s clear that you can’t have regulatory control over the drilling, transport, storage, refining, trading and taxation of oil — as the president does — and claim to have no control over the price of gas. That’s just not true, and people of Louisiana know it.
Here’s what most people in our state see: The Biden administration has crashed their 401k’s and increased their bills by $5,200 a year. Louisianians understand that that is a rotten deal built on bad liberal policies.
President Biden’s energy agenda depends on “wind, solar and wishful thinking” and is causing much of these prices to skyrocket. Whether they’re at the grocery store or gas pump, the people of Louisiana are struggling under a president whose policies ignore Middle America. Louisianians deserve better. Americans deserve better. So, I’ll keep fighting for better.