Democrats ask Joe Biden for lower gas prices and support tax increases.

Eleven U.S. Senate Democrats called President Joe Biden to do something about rising gasoline prices, while also supporting policies that the energy industry claims are contributing seven-years of high pump costs, including the oil and gas tax hikes embedded in the Build back Better Act.

Democrats ask Joe Biden for lower gas prices and support tax increases.

Eleven U.S. Senate Democrats called President Joe Biden to do something about rising gasoline prices, while also supporting policies that the energy industry claims are contributing seven-years of high pump costs, including the oil and gas tax hikes embedded in the Build back Better Act.

The 11 senators statedthis Month that they support President Obama's commitment to developing "clean, renewable energy", but that Americans must be able to pay for gas at the pump.

According to AAA, Friday's average gasoline price was $3.41 per gallon. This is $1.20 less per gallon than last year.

The Trump administration saw the U.S. lead the world in oil production, and it became energy independent. Within eleven months of his election, gas prices have risen to their highest level since 2014.

The Democratic senators wrote that high gasoline prices in their home states have put an undue burden upon families and small businesses trying make ends meet. This is especially true as our constituents continue to recover economically from the COVID-19 pandemic.

They attribute rising gas prices to the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and other actors who purposefully manipulate supply and make it difficult for domestic producers and leaseholders to continue to export U.S. oil.

They asked Biden to look at "all options" to lower U.S. gasoline costs, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve release and banning crude oil imports.

Instead, Biden called on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate possible illegal conduct within the oil and gas sector that could have caused gas prices to rise.

According to the oil and gas industry, the reason for rising prices is due to lower supply. This has been explained by those in the industry, who claim that the Biden administration has imposed restrictions on the industry, including the cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline and the halting of new leases on federal lands for existing operations.

American Petroleum Institute SVP Frank Macchiarola stated to The Center Square that Biden's calls were a distraction from his energy policies. These include restricting access for America's energy supply, and cancelling important infrastructure projects.

Macchiarola stated that instead of launching investigations into markets that are regulated, closely monitored daily, or pleading to OPEC for more supply, we should encourage the safe and responsible exploration and production of American-made oil.

Todd Staples is president of Texas Oil and Gas Association. He agrees that it is not necessary to stop energy opportunities that have led to greater economic gains for the state and nation. Instead, Americans should ask their elected officials to support reliable, affordable energy here at home.

Staples stated that the U.S. energy policy should not sacrifice energy freedom to become dependent on foreign energy. It must instead "encourage smart and science-based policies that advocate homegrown production, domestic job creation, and economic advancement that benefits all Texans as well as every American." We are now feeling the consequences of misguided policies which have encouraged foreign energy rather than encouraging American pipeline projects, domestic manufacturing, and trade opportunities.

One policy is the "Methane Reduction Act 2021," which is embedded in the BBBA. This imposes new taxes for all oil and gas producers to reduce "ambient methane emission." The industry claims that this would increase gas prices for the foreseeable future.

Ed Cross is the president of Kansas Independent Oil and Gas Producers Association. He stated that the plan requires the industry's measurement of "ambient methane emission," using technology that doesn’t exist currently or to be taxed.

Cross stated in an opinion piece published by the Kansas City Star that the tax was based on measurements of ambient methane emissions. "The measurements must distinguish between oil and natural gases production, agricultural emissions (about a third) and landfill emissions (about a third) of U.S. Methane Emissions.

"And the measurements would need to be continuous – 24 hours a day every day. This system is not possible and will not be in the future.

Methane emissions have been highly controlled. American technological innovation has led to lower emissions. The U.S. is now the world's leader in emission reductions. Industry leaders highlight this fact.

Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association argued that the proposed taxes and fees for the industry could "disamen small Texas oil and natural gas producers and greatly burden American taxpayers."

TIPRO President Ed Longanecker stated that additional taxes could "have a ripple affect through the entire U.S. Economy, negatively impacting American job, domestic energy production and household energy bills, and the cost and availability of goods and services including gasoline." The U.S. oil-and-natural gas industry has shown its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions through innovation, collaboration and investment of hundreds billions of dollars in greenhouse gases mitigating technology throughout the value chain. This has been demonstrated with quantifiable results.

He said that natural gas is leading the charge in turning back the clock on carbon dioxide and other major air pollutants. Increased natural gas production through innovation and efficient practices has brought back manufacturing jobs and saved American families $24 billion annually due to lower electricity, oil and natural gas prices. This is equivalent to $2,500 per year for a family with four children.

Texas companies produced 43% of the country's crude oil, and 26% of its marketed gas, despite the state shutdown of 2020.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), nearly one-fourth of America's operational refineries and one third of the total U.S. refining capacity are located in Texas. There are 31 petroleum refineries that process a total of close to 5.9 million barrels per day.

Texas also produces more electricity than any other state, EIA notes, generating nearly twice as much as Florida, the second-highest electricity-producing state.

Texas is home to roughly one-fourth the U.S.'s dry natural gas reserves, and three-tenths the nation's 100 largest natural gas fields. Texas produced one-fourth the nation's natural gasoline in 2020. The majority of this was produced from the Eagle Ford Shale and Permian Basin over the past decade.

Republished with permission from The Center Square

The Center Square contributor

Updated Date: 23 November 2021, 08:15

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