Chair Rodgers Leads Floor Debate on H.R. 21
Washington, D.C. — House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) led debate on the House Floor today to promote H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act.
Below are highlights and excerpts from her remarks:
PLACING AMERICA OVER CHINA
“Two weeks ago, this body sent a strong message that we must ensure our nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) will not advance the energy interests of China over the energy security interests of Americans.
“The bill today will help ensure this vital American energy asset – and American security interests — will not be drained away for non-emergency, political purposes.
“This bill is about restoring America’s energy security.
“It provides a path towards making energy more affordable for Americans, who are looking to us to help ease the pain at the pump.
“H.R. 21 does this by preserving the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for its vital and central purpose — to provide the oil supplies Americans need during true emergencies: emergencies like supply disruptions that threaten the nation’s economy, or the loss of oil production due to hurricanes and other disasters.
“Put simply, under this bill, if an administration chooses to use the reserve for non-emergency political purposes, it will first have to plan that an equal amount would be reinstated from American energy resources.
“The SPR should be used as a tool of ‘last resort.’ This is sensible energy policy.”
BIDEN JEOPARDIZING AMERICA’S ENERGY SECURITY
“It is also urgent policy. At present, the SPR’s ability to protect Americans has been put at risk by this administration.
"More than 250 million barrels of oil, approximately 40% of the reserve, has been drawn down in less than two years - more than all former presidents in history, combined, all to cover up historically high gas prices in an election year. That's irresponsible.
"The Biden administration has undermined our nation's ability to respond to true energy emergencies by mismanaging our nation's strategic energy stockpile.
"At the same time, the Administration has taken every action to suppress America's mighty energy-production abilities.
"Unbelievably, the Biden administration has turned to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia to pump more oil instead of working to lift their regulatory restraints on American energy producers.
"America's oil production and refining capacity remains one million barrels below peak levels under the prior administration. We have the world's most abundant resources and the capacity to product millions more barrels per day.
“America should never be at the mercy of OPEC or Russia.
“Energy security is economic security, it’s national security, it’s all connected. It’s foundational to everything.”
UNLEASHING AMERICAN ENERGY AGENDA
“We should be unleashing American energy on all fronts.
“Don’t forget, the U.S. has some of highest environmental and labor standards in the world and we’ve been a leader in bringing down carbon emissions, we did this by embracing innovation and our abundant natural resources, not by shutting down entire industries.
“Right now, America is suffering through the worst energy crisis in decades, and gas prices are still surging upwards.
“President Biden and the Democrats’ radical ‘rush to green’ agenda has made life unaffordable for people across the country.
“It has driven up inflation, strained household budgets, and weakened our electric grid and gas prices have risen to the highest levels in history.
“Some were forced to pay more than $6 dollars per gallon. Gas prices are still 40% higher today and diesel prices are up almost $2 a gallon more than when President Biden took office.
“It is time to flip the switch. It’s time to end the politically motivated abuse of the SPR and focus on American energy and American security.
“Let’s send a strong signal this Congress that we stand for energy security, preserving the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, restoring America’s energy dominance, and providing for the prosperity of all Americans.”