Rep. Glenn “GT” Thompson, Republican Leader of the House Committee on Agriculture, delivered the following remarks on the House floor slamming President Biden’s self-inflicted energy crisis and the ensuing diesel shortage that continues to hamper domestic food and fiber production in rural America.
Remarks as prepared for delivery: “Mr. Speaker, every few weeks we read headlines of another crisis. Baby formula, fertilizer, and now—another important input—diesel. “This administration not only continues to turn a blind eye, but perpetuates harmful policies that worsen these crises. “From day one, President Biden has launched a war on American energy and now it must end. “Through Executive actions, the Biden Administration paused domestic production of oil while limiting and disincentivizing investments in American energy infrastructure and refining capacity. “On his very first day in office, President Biden canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, thus declaring war on our domestic energy production. Seven days later he paused new oil and gas leasing on public lands and offshore waters. “Then, in November 2021, the EPA proposed new source performance methane standards on the oil and natural gas industry, tying the hands of smaller producers. Just last week at COP 27, President Biden doubled down on this proposal and announced even more burdensome requirements on U.S. oil and gas sources. “Meanwhile, Americans were pumping away their paychecks, as prices for gas and home heating skyrocketed. “This administration needs to refocus its priorities by increasing domestic energy development, expediting pipeline permitting, and abandoning burdensome rulemakings that are harming American agriculture. “Let’s face facts: America’s farm families and consumers have struggled with fractured supply chains, skyrocketing input costs, and historic levels of inflation—economic woes exacerbated by congressional Democrats’ excessive spending and the Biden Administration’s burdensome regulatory agenda. “Under this Administration, farm production expenses are up nearly $80 billion, led by an 84%, or $21 billion, increase in fertilizer expenses and a 65% increase in fuel expenses. “As the Biden Administration’s self-inflicted energy crisis surges into a diesel shortage, they continually pass the buck by blaming domestic energy producers. “Further, Biden’s regulatory assault destroys any incentive for domestic energy producers to invest in energy infrastructure, which worsens the energy market volatility and increases costs for vital farm inputs such as diesel fuel and fertilizer. “In October 2022, EIA reported the distillate fuel oil inventory at 106 million. This is the lowest stock since 2008, the lowest stock for this time of year since 1982, and in some regions, the lowest inventory since 1950. “Diesel fuel is used every day to power farm and ranch equipment and deliver goods to the marketplace. This Biden-inflicted diesel crisis further exacerbates record inflation, skyrocketing farm input costs, and consumer prices. The national average price for diesel fuel per gallon is $5.36, an increase of $1.71 or 50% from this time last year. “By gambling away American energy and resource independence in the name of climate change, the Biden Administration has harmed the very industry—U.S. agriculture—that contributes to 13% of annual greenhouse gas sequestration. “Just this past summer, President Biden went to the Saudis and begged OPEC+ to increase production. Instead of relying on our adversaries and asking them to produce more, we should be focused on the responsible development of America’s own abundant natural resources. “Mr. Speaker, Republicans have solutions focused on reversing industry-crushing regulations and market signals, unleashing production of crude oil, streamlining permitting and environmental review processes, and restoring refining capacity. “We must reverse this self-inflicted crisis and unleash our domestic energy production.”