Folks across the country are paying more for gas every single time they fill up. We’ve hit a new record of $4.20 a gallon in Alabama, which is more than last week, last month and even a few months ago. We are paying nearly double what we were paying this time one year ago.
There’s been plenty of finger pointing from President Biden and Democrats in Congress about why prices continue to rise. First, Democrats blamed the oil and gas companies for “price gouging” and being too greedy, then they blamed oil and gas companies for sitting on oil leases, when the truth is the administration has increased the bureaucratic red tape to make it nearly impossible for companies to drill. We’ve also heard Democrats claim their energy crisis is actually “Putin’s Price Hike,” despite the fact fuel prices had been surging for almost a year prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
The federal government has the ability to bring relief to the American people by unleashing domestic energy production, increasing the supply, and ending our reliance on foreign dictators and terrorists to supply us with our needs. Instead of doing this, President Biden and his allies in Congress are continuing to wage war on American energy and make their energy crisis even worse.
President Biden decided just last week to kill offshore leases and drive gas prices even higher. His decision to further cripple American energy production at a time when folks are already paying record amounts for fuel, groceries, and basic goods shows his complete disregard for the struggles of hardworking Americans. By canceling new offshore leases for the rest of the year, the Biden administration is proving once again they are hell-bent on limiting U.S. investment and production, while keeping inflation and gas prices through the roof.
That’s why just a few weeks ago, I introduced the Unleashing American Energy Act to require a minimum of two oil and gas lease sales a year in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska, while prohibiting oil and gas lease sales from being blocked or slowed down again.
Meanwhile, Democrats in Congress this week are working to ram through a bill to allow the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate and take enforcement action against “unconscionable pricing” in consumer fuels. Determining what is “unconscionable pricing” would not be defined by law but would be left to the discretion of bureaucrats at the FTC. This bill is nothing more than a shameful attempt by Democrats to shift the blame from the Biden administration’s self-inflicted energy and inflation crisis. They would rather blame energy producers, despite zero evidence of price gouging, rather than take basic steps to bring the price of fuel down.
The reality is the policies being pushed by the Biden administration and Democrats in Congress have discouraged and denied development of American natural resources, which has led to a surge in U.S. oil and gasoline prices over the last 16 months. Americans desperately need relief from surging prices at the pump; unfortunately, Democrats have turned their back on the American people and have only made the crisis worse.
Jerry Carl represents Alabama’s First Congressional District. He lives in Mobile with his wife Tina.