As Prices at the Pump Soar, Consensus Builds to Increase Domestic Oil Production
U.S. energy prices continue to increase – with consumers paying record prices at the pump – and so does the consensus that the United States needs to increase its domestic oil and natural gas production.
The growing calls for increased production have come from both Democrats and Republicans, as well as from business and industry, think tanks, media and even those with interests in renewable energy and electric vehicles.
Democratic Policymakers & Regulatory Officials
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki (March 10):
“They have the capacity they need to go get more oil here in the United States, and [President Biden would] encourage them to do that.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm (March 10):
“We are in an emergency, and we have to responsibly increase short-term supply where we can right now to stabilize the market and minimize harm to American families.”
“I hope your investors are saying these words to you as well: In this moment of crisis, we need more supply … right now, we need oil and gas production to rise to meet current demand.”
Former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz (March 5):
“There is a case to be made for the American producers to increase production.” Russia’s actions in Ukraine have caused the price of crude oil to skyrocket. Fmr. Energy Secretary @ErnestMoniz breaks down the impact on the U.S. consumer. #velshi https://t.co/0g0adyTyXG
— Velshi on MSNBC (@VelshiMSNBC) March 5, 2022
Sen. Joe Manchin (WV) (March 10):
“The first immediate action item is to increase our domestic oil and gas production on both federal and non-federal lands. This is going to take both the administration and industry to step up to the plate…However, as I said with the leasing pause, it is well past time for the pause to end, for well drillers and the administration to move forward.”
Working together, we can strengthen the free world’s energy security. But first we must recommit as a nation to embracing all-of-the-above energy solutions to solve the problems before us today without disregarding our climate responsibilities. pic.twitter.com/xoUARbNRuQ
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 10, 2022
Sen. John Hickenlooper (CO) (March 10):
“I think that the … oil and gas companies in Colorado and in the United States can up their production.”
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (CT) (March 7):
“I will be fighting for bipartisan support in favor of suspending the gas tax, putting pressure on the OPEC nations and our own oil companies to produce more.”
Sen. John Tester (MT) (March 8):
“We shouldn’t be advancing other countries who don’t share our values. So, I think the opportunity here is to do it domestically, create jobs here, deal with it domestically and also see if we can help Europe out too.”
Republican Policymakers & Regulatory Officials
Rep Senators led by Sen. Lindsey Graham (SC) (March 4):
“Through smart energy production, we can fulfill our energy needs while simultaneously exporting oil and gas to our allies,” wrote the senators. “Low carbon technologies are worth investing in; however, the reality of the moment is that America is increasingly reliant on imports of foreign oil.”
Sen. John Barrasso (WY) (March 10):
“The president must end his war on American energy. Republicans have been demanding the administration take the shackles off American energy producers since President Biden took office. We have the energy at home and we must use it.”
Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (MS) (March 10):
“I find it difficult to believe we would not be facing an energy crisis if we had maintained greater energy independence,” Hyde-Smith said. “After President Biden’s ban on new oil and gas lease sales on federal lands and offshore, the Administration continually gas-lit Americans by saying there are ‘9,000 approved drilling permits not being used.’ However, we know it is one thing to have a lease, it’s another for it to actually have the green light to produce on that lease after jumping through ever-increasing regulatory hoops,” Hyde-Smith continued. “All this to say, we are nowhere close to realizing our nation’s full potential as a global energy producer.”
Rep. Matt Rosendale (MT) (March 9):
The U.S. is blessed with the world’s largest oil and gas reserves, and we’re fully capable of producing these resources more cleanly and efficiently than anywhere else in the world.
— Matt Rosendale (@RepRosendale) March 9, 2022
Rep. Yvette Herrell (NM- 2) (March 8):
“Never should we think that foreign oil is better than American independence when it comes to energy.”
Rep. Kevin McCarthy (CA-22) (March 8):
“If we want to lower prices and protect the environment, we must prioritize American energy independence. We have the natural resources under our feet. We have the best workers in the world: drilling the wells, building the pipelines, running the rigs, and extracting the gas in the cleanest way possible,” he said. “We just need politicians who will get out of the way.”
Robert Sprague, State Treasurer (OH) (March 8):
The answer to America’s energy problem is right beneath our feet.
We need to increase domestic energy production and get America back on the path to energy independence.
— Robert Sprague (@RobertCSprague) March 9, 2022
Gov. Ron DeSantis (FL) (March 8):
The Biden Administration needs to listen to Americans & increase domestic energy instead of relying on authoritarian regimes to fuel our country. Gas prices are out of control & people are getting hammered at the pump.
The time is now to make America energy independent – again.
— Ron DeSantis (@GovRonDeSantis) March 8, 2022
Anna Wong, Bloomberg Economist (March 8)
“The Biden administration has a powerful tool that could both maximize the cost to Russia for invading Ukraine and lower domestic inflation, and it’s not sanctions. We estimate that increasing U.S. shale production could replace U.S. oil imports from Russia, and even a substantial share of Russia’s exports to Europe.”
Joe Scarborough, MSNBC’s Morning Joe (March 2):
“Wouldn’t it strategically make sense for the United States to ramp up oil production so they can cut off the dependence on Russian oil? We have the ability in this country to produce enough oil for this country, and energy for this country, that we can depend a hell of a lot less on Russia. Can we not at least do this temporarily, in the cause of freedom?”
Patrick De Haan, GasBuddy (February 28):
no pain, no gain. we need to suck it up. sanction russia. ease policies that would have affected long term oil production. all of which leads to an increase in US energy security https://t.co/IukNoRUw2l
— Patrick De Haan ⛽️📊 (@GasBuddyGuy) February 28, 2022
Think Tanks & NGOs:
James Carafano, VP for Foreign & Security Policy of Heritage Foundation (March 7):
If policymakers implement sanctions without expanding domestic U.S. energy production, Russia will only benefit from higher global prices and Americans will pay even more at the pump. pic.twitter.com/ORhaJodI1t
— Heritage Foundation (@Heritage) March 7, 2022
Samantha Gross, the director of the Energy Security and Climate Initiative at the Brookings Institute (February 18):
“American natural gas (as liquified natural gas, or LNG) is flowing toward Europe in response to their very high prices — a good business deal for U.S. companies, a counterweight to Russia’s power over European energy supply, and a gesture of good will toward our staunchest allies. Although several members of Congress are calling for limiting U.S. natural gas exports in response to inflation at home, it is a terrible idea, harmful to U.S. foreign policy and useless in lowering prices for American consumers.”
Douglas Hengel, a visiting senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States (February 18):
“Diversification of supply should remain a paramount goal. Ten European utilities have long-term contracts with US LNG suppliers, which provide security of supply and better prices in tight market conditions. Brussels should encourage EU utilities and other users of natural gas to sign more long-term supply deals for US LNG, especially with new projects that would increase total global supply and provide alternatives to Russian gas.”
Nikos Tsafos, James R. Schlesinger Chair for Energy and Geopolitics at Center for Strategic and International Studies (March 8):
There is zero tension—ZERO—between saying we need more oil production NOW to win a war against Russia *and* saying we need to aggressively decarbonize our energy system as soon as humanly possible (and possibly sooner). This isn’t complicated.
— Nikos Tsafos (@ntsafos) March 8, 2022
Business & Industry:
Elon Musk, CEO & Founder of Tesla (March 4):
Hate to say it, but we need to increase oil & gas output immediately.
Extraordinary times demand extraordinary measures.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 5, 2022
Zippy Duvall, President of the American Farm Bureau Federation (March 8):
“Farm Bureau supports removing barriers to domestic energy production, including more drilling and extraction of our energy resources. The utilization of domestically-produced fuels, including biofuels, has reduced our country’s dependence on foreign crude oil, increased farm incomes and provided good-paying jobs in rural America. Expanding the volume of American-made ethanol in the U.S. fuel supply can help alleviate some of these issues, as ethanol is currently priced 70-80 cents per gallon lower than gasoline. And by displacing imported petroleum, increased biofuel use and domestic energy production will enhance U.S. security and independence while supporting America’s farmers and rural economies.”
IPAA President & CEO Barry Russell:
“One of the world’s most powerful tactics against rising energy costs is secure, affordable, reliable American oil and natural gas production. The United States is a global leader in oil and natural gas production, and this should be encouraged. But, recently, federal regulations and policies seem to ignore this opportunity. Just two years ago, and throughout the pandemic, oil prices crashed, even to negative levels. Allegations about price gouging, which have been manufactured for decades, are false and unconstructive. America’s oil and natural gas companies stand ready for more responsible energy production here at home, for our nation and our worldwide allies; but those calls seem to go unanswered. And this creates much uncertainty for companies that need to plan projects that may take a year or more. It won’t be immediate, but now is the time to create solutions that get the nation back on track to energy and national security.”
Kathleen Sgamma, President of Western Energy Alliance (March 7):
“While President Biden is urging Russia and OPEC to increase production, the Interior Department is erecting roadblocks to American production,” Western Energy Alliance President Kathleen Sgamma said at the time. “Oil and natural gas from federal lands is among the most sustainably produced in the world, and certainly cleaner than the oil produced in Russia. Besides the stricter environmental controls on public lands, producers agree to extra measures to protect wildlife, reduce emissions, reduce water use, and ensure stewardship of the land.
“Further, the Interior Department continues to ignore diverse voices who have urged the administration to move forward with developing oil and natural gas in America,” she added. “Democratic governors, minority community leaders, tribes, small businesses, and many others have voiced support for continued federal oil and natural gas development, but the administration prioritizes activists and environmentalists over bipartisan policymakers and a broad array of stakeholders.”
Mike Sommers, President and CEO of API (March 9):
“I think there’s a new recognition of how important it is that the United States reclaim its role as the world energy leader during times of crisis like this,” he said. “I think there’s been too much focus over the course of the last many years on down-playing that important role. We need to return to that position.”
Kevin O’Scannlain, VP, Upstream Policy of API (March 4):
“For more than a year it [the White House] has halted new federal leasing — key to future energy investment and production. It canceled energy infrastructure, blocked development in parts of Alaska, entertained new taxes to punish the US energy industry and chilled future investment by signaling that oil and gas wouldn’t be part of America’s future energy mix. All last summer, the administration called on OPEC+, the oil cartel, to increase its production more rapidly in the face of rising energy costs, bypassing American producers.”