On CNBC, Chair Rodgers Sets the Record Straight on H.R. 21
American energy security is fundamental
House Energy and Commerce Committee Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) joined CNBC’s Joe Kernan this morning to discuss how H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act, will improve our energy security and affordability, while discouraging the abuse of the reserve as an election-year gimmick.
Below are highlights and excerpts from Chair Rodgers’ interview:
FACT-CHECKING BIDEN ON H.R. 21
“Unfortunately, the Secretary and the administration have been misrepresenting the bill. The bill only addresses non-emergency use [of the SPR].
“This bill goes back to the importance of American energy security. It's our economic security. It's our national security.
“The legislation that we passed in the House already and this second bill are both related to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. This is a critical asset. It’s a national security asset and it's an economic asset for emergency uses.”
“This bill requires the administration, when they deplete it, when they sell the reserves [for non-emergency sales], that they would have to develop a plan for domestic production to offset what they are selling from the reserve. It only applies to non-emergency situations.”
BIDEN HAS ABUSED THE SPR FOR POLITICS
“The administration, especially leading up to the election, depleted our reserve for political purposes and I believe it is important that they are transparent, and we are holding them accountable for that.
“We passed the first bill (H.R. 22) that would prohibit any sales from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from going to China and we gained over 100 Democrats.
“It was the largest bipartisan vote on an energy bill in years and I urge the Senate to take action on that.”
“The SPR is at the lowest levels in 40 years, we're down to 1983 levels. And now, what we're seeing since we're past the election, is that prices are going back up.”
CHINA IS BENEFITING FROM BIDEN’S ACTIONS
“What we're seeing is China has built up the largest [government-controlled] petroleum reserve in the world. They have been buying a lot of this oil on the open market.
“We are requiring the administration to come up with a plan. So, if [the administration] reduces the SPR by 10%, they have to increase domestic production by 10%.”
“We saw this administration go ask OPEC, go ask Venezuela, to produce more oil in order to help [with] the energy crisis that... their policies had brought us to.
“What we're asking is for them to come up with a plan to increase domestic oil production. We have tremendous resources in the United States of America.”
THE NEED FOR PERMITTING REFORM
“The number one barrier to energy production in the United States is permitting in this regulatory climate.
“Even at the end of last Congress, we heard Senator Manchin talking about the importance of permitting reform in the United States.
“We need permitting reform and we're anxious to go to work on that.”