President Joe Biden has set a lot of records since last year -- all of them bad. He added another one Monday when the United States hit the highest price of gas per gallon ever. Topping the record of $4.11 from his old boss, Barack Obama, Biden has the dubious distinction of presiding yet over another crisis: the collapse of America's energy independence.
Maybe, some speculate, that's why he was so reluctant to ban Russian oil and gas. Under his administration, the U.S. was taking in 40 percent more Russian crude oil than at any time under Donald Trump. Taking those imports off the table would make the pain at the pump even worse, he knew, which is probably why he was frantically trying to stop Congress from passing a bill forcing his hand on our Russian supply. And yet, the anti-Putin sentiment is so strong in both parties that even House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) rebuffed Biden. "Pelosi was not moved by [the White House's] arguments," sources told Fox News. When the president himself called Pelosi on Monday night, she refused to budge -- forcing Biden to announce an end to Russian oil, gas, and energy imports.
The decision took longer than it should have, members of both parties complained, and when the president finally did act, he took great measures to deflect any blame it might cause. "It's simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production. That's simply not true," Biden claimed, despite canceling the construction of the Keystone pipeline the minute he stepped into the Oval Office. "We're approaching record levels of oil and gas production in the United States," the president argued, "... The oil and gas industry has millions of acres leased. They have 9,000 permits to drill now. They could be drilling right now, yesterday, last week, last year."
According to Rep. August Pfluger (R-Texas), whose district is in the heart of America's oil country, that's simply not true. "The production is... actually a really good level," he agreed. "But the problem is that... there are plenty of pipelines that the Biden administration has refused to certify. They've weaponized some of the agencies and departments and they won't certify them... We need to cut the red tape and start planning and permitting export terminals in this country. That will take several years. I mean, you have to imagine that's two to three years from the time that you say, 'Yes, we're going to do it' to the time that it actually gets built, maybe even longer. So, reversing course is a step by step process, but we need to take that first and most important step right now."
And the reality is, Biden hasn't shown the slightest indication that he's willing to take that step. Beholding to his Green New Deal fanatics, he hasn't considered a single viable solution to this oil crisis. Instead, he's suggested taking America's business to other bad actors in Venezuela and Saudi Arabia -- which to Pfluger, who understands our capacity, is absolutely astonishing.
"At what point in time is the administration going to learn the lesson?" he demanded to know on "Washington Watch." "We don't need Iranian oil, Russian oil... We have what we need right here, and we can do the job better and cleaner than anybody else." Pfluger said he was in Ukraine with a congressional delegation a few weeks ago and had a sobering conversation with President Volodymyr Zelensky. "He said he didn't believe that we would be in this situation if the Nord Stream project did not exist. I mean, think about what that statement is -- that energy security is such a degree of national security that the president of Ukraine did not think that we would be in a situation that his country would be invaded by Putin."
Pfluger's bill, the Midland over Moscow Act, would put America's focus back on domestic production and cut the red tape that keeps us from sending our oil to the world. "We don't need to be brokering deals with Iran or Venezuela or any other malign actor. We've got what we have right here. We need to focus on domestic energy production. That's what Midland over Moscow represents."
Other countries are begging for that sort of leadership from America. Alberta's premier, Jason Kenney, told the press this week, "... [I]nstead of going cap in hand to the Venezuela, Saudi, and Iranian dictatorships to replace Russian conflict oil, we could turn this around, I believe in less than a year," he argued. "If the United States is serious about this, they could come back and help us build Keystone XL. If President Biden had not vetoed that project, it would be done later this year -- 840,000 barrels of democratic energy that could have displaced the 600,000-plus barrels of Russian conflict oil that's filled with the blood of Ukrainians."