Subcommittee Chair Johnson Opening Remarks at E&C’s First Full Committee Hearing on Restoring American Energy Dominance
Washington, D.C. — Subcommittee on Environment, Manufacturing, & Critical Materials Chairman Bill Johnson (R-OH) delivered opening remarks at the first Energy and Commerce hearing of the 118th Congress, entitled “American Energy Expansion: Strengthening Economic, Environmental, and National Security.”
Below are excerpts and highlights of his opening remarks:
BIDEN IS SHUTTING DOWN AMERICAN ENERGY AND RAISING PRICES
“I want to congratulate you for being selected as Chair of the best committee in the House of Representatives, the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and for holding your first full committee hearing as Chair and making it about such a vital issue - American Energy Expansion: Strengthening Economic, Environmental, and National Security.
“I agree that it’s time for all members of our committee to get to work to come up with solutions to the major problems driving inflation in our country, a staggering inflation which threatens to lower all American’s standard of living and make us less secure.
“Just a little over 2 years ago, America was energy dominant for the first time in 70 years. We were the largest energy producer in the world, and fuel for our homes and automobiles was affordable for working Americans.
“Unfortunately, the President and the Democratic majorities in the last Congress decided to wage an all-out legislative, regulatory, and public relations campaign to suppress that energy dominance, leading to skyrocketing and unaffordable gasoline, natural gas, and electricity prices for many Americans.
“Not just that, but, rather than relying on superior American innovation and ingenuity to solve emissions issues, which we’ve demonstrated clearly we can do.
“This campaign against American energy and energy workers is attempting to cancel proven, increasingly cleaner forms of existing energy resources in favor of only a few forms of weather-dependent energy sources.
“And that has very serious negative economic and national security implications.”
ENERGY SECURITY IS NATIONAL SECURITY
“Put simply, energy security is national security. We’ve heard it said over and over again and it’s true.
“It takes energy to produce raw materials, to manufacture products, to produce farm products – like produce, eggs and poultry and pork and beef, to get those products to market.
“In fact, energy is at the center of everything.
“Americans have seen firsthand, they’re living it, that limiting domestic energy production and cheapening the value of the dollar through reckless Federal spending is a textbook way to drive inflation higher.
“We can do better. We must do better.
“Now, I’m not reflexively opposed to some of the Democrats’ solutions being proposed.
“For example, greater renewables deployment in our country. But where I struggle is with the practical implementation of these policies and plans, the costs and the potential negative impacts on the quality of life for American consumers.
“We can’t just take what sounds good in town halls in wealthier coastal or metropolitan areas and insist that folks in less wealthy, more rural areas just jump in line and do it as well.
“If we want viable, sustainable energy solutions that make all Americans secure, that appreciates the diversity of our landscapes, and doesn’t rely on premature, aspirational technologies or the availability of mineral supplies from foreign countries being available; then it’s time to turn the page on the current, national energy strategy, or lack thereof.
“Particularly since it’s one that makes us more dependent on nations that hate us.
“To illustrate the point, I ask my colleagues to consider a recent article in the Washington Post. It suggested senior U.S. military officials are predicting, and preparing for, war within one to five years with China – the very country we depend on for the critical minerals required for many of the ‘rush to green’ solutions.”
MAXIMIZING RELIABLE, AFFORDABLE, AND CLEANER AMERICAN ENERGY
“This is why we need to maximize the production of clean, reliable, affordable American energy and the associated critical materials right here at home along with improving the permitting process so investors aren’t deterred by government-imposed barriers and uncertainty for new energy infrastructure projects.
“Friends, it’s time to get serious about making rolling blackouts on our energy grid a thing of the past and lowering gasoline prices with increased American domestic production, rather than being dependent on artificial market interventions by the White House.
“More domestic supply is necessary to meet these challenges, and we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that draining our Strategic Petroleum Reserve assets is a recipe for success.
“We produce energy better, safer, and cleaner than any other place in the world. These facts used to be a source of national strength and pride – not to mention American international diplomacy.
“Let me conclude with a hearty welcome to our witnesses today. I appreciate that you're here and I look forward to you sharing your experience and perspectives with us.”