- The Washington Times - Monday, February 28, 2022

Democrats’ focus on green energy and climate change has cut domestic oil production, driven up gas prices and helped to fund Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a conservative business group said Monday.

Policies from the Biden administration and European nations that discourage fossil-fuel production have given Russia’s oil industry and President Vladimir Putin more resources for his military, said Job Creators Network President Alfredo Ortiz.

“Between our push here in the U.S. to basically walk away from our energy independence, and Europe’s push in the same way, we basically have funded this war in Ukraine,” Mr. Ortiz said in a conference call. “We’ve given the war chest to Putin by doing so.”

In response to Moscow’s invasion, Germany and the U.S. took steps to block the Nord Stream 2 natural-gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. But economist Stephen Moore, a former adviser to President Trump, said the Democratic Party faces the larger problem of saddling itself with unpopular and costly Green New Deal energy policies.

“I think one of the lessons of what’s happened, both with respect to rising energy costs and the invasion of Ukraine, is that the climate-change issue has become just a heavy albatross around the neck of the Democratic Party,” Mr. Moore said. “This is becoming a huge loser issue for the Democrats. Every single poll shows that this is not one of the top 10 issues that Americans care about. It’s raising prices at the gas pump, and it’s almost become just a big turnoff to the American people, especially independents and Republicans. You’ve got all of these problems, and they’re still talking about climate change.”

Mr. Moore said he would like to hear Mr. Biden say in his State of the Union address Tuesday night that he made a mistake by canceling the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada last year.

He also said U.S. oil production has dropped by about 2 million barrels per day since Mr. Biden took office, forcing American businesses to place greater reliance on foreign suppliers.

“That’s $75 billion a year that’s just going down the drain for an energy policy that is simply putting more money into the pockets of people like Putin and the Saudis at Americans’ expense,” he said. “That has to stop.”

Guy Berkebile, founder of Guy Chemical in Somerset, Pennsylvania, said inflation and supply chain problems since Mr. Biden took office have created serious challenges for his 180-employee firm. He said the cost of some chemical supplies used in the company’s manufacturing processes have risen about 600%.

And electricity costs for his firm have risen from $15,000 per month to $20,000 since Mr. Biden came to office, he said. Shipping costs have risen about 200%, he said.

“I have never gone through a period of time since the beginning of COVID where we’ve had so many issues that are negatively impacting our business,” Mr. Berkebile said. “Inflation has been a major problem for us over the last year. The supply chain has been a wreck.”

Mr. Ortiz said Mr. Biden should announce on Tuesday night that he will “reverse course on his socialist energy policies that have put the U.S. in this mess.”

The White House said the president on Tuesday will make “a strong case that the Biden-Harris economic strategy is producing historic results, and lay out his plan to tackle the economic challenges ahead.”

The president will propose a four-step strategy aimed at helping to alleviate supply-chain problems and ease inflationary pressures.   

“The president will also make clear that there is more work to do to rebuild the economy towards resilience, security, and sustainability,” the White House said. “Too many families continue to feel the squeeze of higher costs.”

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

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