The fight over soaring energy costs and who’s to blame is heating up on Capitol Hill seven months ahead of the midterm election. Democrats blame the war in Ukraine and alleged price gouging by the oil companies. Republicans say the Biden Administration’s restrictions on oil and gas drilling and canceling the XL Pipeline are to blame.
Both sides made their case on Capitol Hill as politically fraught energy inflation promises to be key in the November elections. Top House Ag Republican G.T. Thompson; “It is time to open up American resources. It’s a solution for the fertilizer issue, with natural gas development. And so, that’s something that can be done with the stroke of a pen.”
Thompson rejected the administration’s focus on electric vehicles, while USDA Rural Development Undersecretary Xochitl Torres-Small says the nation’s already moving away from fossil fuels. Torres-Small; “A young person working in energy today could be working in solar or wind while their grandparents were experts in fossil fuels because this transition has been happening for at least a decade. Like all transitions, this one has bumps; There’s disagreement, and there’s pain.”
Thompson didn’t reject more use of alternative fuels like ethanol but argued for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy at a time of war that will severely impact food production. Thompson; “We have a crisis right now, and it’s a crisis that’s driving up food prices to the point where we’re going to be faced with increased, certainly around the world, hopefully not in our country, but we will have inflation here that’s going to make it difficult for people to get access to the food that they need.”
But elsewhere, Thompson says the grain and oilseed shortfall from the war in Ukraine will mean hunger, starvation, and death through famine this fall.