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Our Energy Policy is a Success and President Biden Should be Proud

March 18, 2024

I’m going to do something you probably haven’t heard me do much in the past three years: I want to congratulate President Biden for the record-breaking energy production we are seeing in America today. The United States is producing more oil, gas and renewable energy than ever before. We are exporting more fossil fuel energy than we import. Our country has never been more energy-independent than we are today.

This is something to celebrate. And it would not have been possible without the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that Biden signed. Thanks to these two historic laws, we are unlocking major opportunities throughout the country, implementing an “all-of-the-above” energy strategy that we need today while continuing to innovate the technologies we want for tomorrow.

You won’t hear about our historic energy production on TV, on social media, at Democratic campaign events — or from many administration aides. As a result of these bills, there has never been a better time to invest in American energy. But as energy leaders from across the world gather this week in Houston for the annual CERAWeek conference, I bet the rhetoric from White House officials in attendance will be muted.

Here are some statistics we ought to be proud of: In 2023, the United States produced a record 38 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, 4.7 billion barrels of crude oil and 238 million megawatt-hours of solar. This is more than at any other time in history, including during the Trump administration. In 2016, we were exporting almost zero LNG; seven years later, our peak capacity is around 14 billion cubic feet per day. This past week, analyses from J.P. Morgan and the Energy Information Administration confirmed that American energy is booming. No other country in history has produced as much oil and gas as the United States is producing today.

Moreover, we are ensuring that the American energy produced today is cleaner than ever. The International Energy Agency reported this month that the United States is implementing some of the most innovative policies in the world for reducing emissions from energy production.

I have always said you are entitled to your own opinion, but you cannot make up your own facts. And the fact is that the United States and its allies need fossil fuels for reliable power. That need cannot be met today with the technologies of tomorrow. Those technologies need more investment to become viable. This is why we made the largest investment in climate and energy technologies in U.S. history. For example, the Inflation Reduction Act invests $10 billion in tax credits to build clean technology manufacturing facilities in the United States, such as facilities that make wind turbines and solar panels.

We shouldn’t be picking winners and losers when the cost of doing so could very well produce rolling brownouts or complete blackouts. We are proving that innovation, not elimination, is the key to energy security.

Maintaining that balance — between improving today’s technology and betting on the future — will remain critical for years to come. That is why I made sure the Inflation Reduction Act guaranteed parity between oil and gas and wind and solar in future offshore and onshore lease sales. This provision will ensure that future presidents would have to embrace the all-of-the-above approach to meeting America’s energy needs.

To me and millions of voters, all of this is something to celebrate — from the mountaintops of West Virginia, where we have seen a natural gas boom, to the wind farms in Iowa, the oil fields in Texas and the solar farms in Arizona. This is the all-of-the-above strategy in action, showing results. But it seems some of the president’s radical advisers in the White House are so worried about angering climate activists that they refuse to speak up about these accomplishments. The result is that a president who was elected as a centrist is being dragged further and further to the left.

Only the president can decide how he wants to finish his first term in office and what vision he wants to embrace for the future. For me, in my final months in office, I will do everything I can to continue to strengthen our energy security for our children and grandchildren. I will continue to fight to make this administration implement the balanced all-of-the-above strategy that runs through the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

Even in an election year, we cannot allow political division to jeopardize our growing energy independence, our strengthening economy or our national security. I urge Biden to join me in celebrating America’s energy accomplishments and recommit to working in a bipartisan way with Congress to build upon that success this year. Our achievements are worthy of celebration, but there is more work to be done.

By:  Senator Joe Manchin
Source: Washington Post

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