Barrasso: 'Why Aren't We Producing More American Energy?' 'How Can You Believe That Raising Taxes Is Going to Help?'

( – Sen. John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said he has two main questions for Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen when she appears before the Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday:

“Number one is, why aren’t we producing more American energy? That seems to be a clear-cut solution. And number two is, how can you believe that raising taxes is going to help? That’s the cornerstone of their economic policy.

“I mean, that is — makes no sense to the American people, when they can’t afford food or groceries, to be faced with increasing taxes. That’s not the solution.

“But you’re right,” Barrasso told “Sunday Morning Futures.”

“The president has his Cabinet members out traveling the country, saying, hey, it’s not all that bad. The American people are paying $4.75 for gas. They understand — they’re going to believe their own two eyes, which is their wallets, which are empty, and their savings are shrinking.”


Barrasso criticized Biden’s plan to fight inflation — a plan the president outlined last week in The Wall Street Journal.

Biden’s solution is to leave the Federal Reserve alone and respect its independence; lower the price of goods by fixing supply chains and by lowering the cost of housing and prescription drugs to compensate for higher prices elsewhere; and to reduce the federal deficit by raising taxes on the wealthy.

“It’s not a plan. It’s an embarrassment,” Barrasso said:

“If a high school kid turned that in as an economics paper, they’d get a D- minus. But for a president to say that at the time of record high inflation for prices for gas, for groceries, he deserves an F, because it’s full of finger-pointing, false accusations.

“And, Maria, he takes no responsibility for his economic malpractice, because that’s what this is. He’s missed the diagnosis for over a year. And the American people have been suffering. And we have been suffering because he refuses to allow us to use the energy we have right here in America.

“He’s so beholden to the climate elitists. And, look, even The Washington Post, their Pinocchio people gave him four Pinocchios for lying to the American people about his economic plans.”

Biden said last week he understands the impact of inflation on American families: “But, he said, “[W]e can’t take immediate action, that I’m aware of yet, to figure out how we bring down the price of gasoline back to three dollars a gallon.  And we can’t do that immediately with regard to food prices, either.”

He blamed the war in Ukraine for price inflation here.

Host Maria Bartiromo asked Barrasso if the administration is purposely driving up energy costs to “ram through a climate agenda.”

“They are. They are,” Barrasso, the ranking member of the Energy Committee, said. “We have the energy here.”

“We need to use American energy. We have it in the ground. He won’t let us get it out.

“But I think Joe Biden actually wants high gasoline prices, so he can force people into electric vehicles.

Remember, as a candidate, he said he absolutely guarantees he will eliminate fossil fuels. And just this week in Wyoming, the president sided with environmental extremists, going after 2,000 oil and gas leases in Wyoming that were granted from 2015 to 2020.

“He wasn’t even president then. This is going to cost more American jobs. And it’s going to cost people all across the country more in terms of high costs.

“Look, this is unmistakable evidence right now that the president, when he says, oh, I’m doing — quote — ‘everything possible’ — close quote — to lower the cost of energy, is flat-out lying to the American people. And there is no other way to say it, Maria.”

On Friday, President Biden touted his economic policies: “My plans have produced the strongest, fastest, most widespread economic recovery America has ever experienced, with record jobs, a new record of small businesses, and wages rising. It’s the foundation for an economy that works for working families,” he said.

In those same remarks, Biden once again blamed the “Putin price hike” for higher prices of fuel and food.

But Americans aren’t buying it, Barrasso said:

“And they lay it at the feet of the policies of this administration, the massive government spending, the unnecessary so-called stimulus package of $2 trillion when Joe Biden came into office.

“And, Maria, their solution is more of the same. They’re trying to convince Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema to spend more money and raise taxes at the same time.

“That’s the cornerstone of their economic plan, which is why their plan has failed. American people cannot afford more taxes, when they can’t even afford to put food on the table. And the expenses today just to maintain where they were a year ago is $5,000 a year more today than it was last year. We have the energy in the ground. We need to use it.”

“Once again, Joe Biden is too slow to respond to the needs of the American people.”

And there may be worse to come, the senator warned:

“Yes, we’re going to have power outages all across the country” this summer, he said:

“And, specifically, California is going to be hit the worst. And the president once again has been advised to this. But he is missing it, just like he did with baby formula shortages. We’re going to have blackouts. We’re going to have higher costs. People are going to be paying more for spotty service.

“Look, if he wants you to buy an electric car, I’d say you better buy an electric generator, if you could do and afford that, because his focus on wind and solar, those are good, but it’s not always there when you need it. He said we need more energy transmission lines. I say we need more energy to transmit along those lines.

“But his attacks, in terms of regulations and taxes on oil and gas and coal, are making us less — have less reliable energy in this country. And what we’re seeing with these blackouts this summer is the price people are going to have to pay, specifically in California, for signing up for the Green New Deal.”


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