YR's Hernandez: Texas Congressional Reps Need to Step Up, Provide Backstop Against Biden's Bad Energy Policies

Politicians in D.C. & California are pushing “solutions” that make things even harder for families

By Joacim Hernandez

AUSTIN, Texas (Texas Insider Report) — I read with interest the Texas Insider’s recent editorial that energy should not be a partisan matter, yet that is exactly what the Biden White House is doing. American families can’t catch a break these days, and for the past two years we've experienced a myriad of challenges.

And this year, inflation and expensive energy costs have been a source of great anxiety as we’ve found our dollars don’t go nearly as far at the checkout counter. From the war in Ukraine to the aftermath of the pandemic, global supply chains are out of whack and working families are paying the price for it.
And just last week in this fragile economic moment, President Biden announced he wants to hit oil and gas companies with a “windfall” tax because of the skyrocketing inflation under his Administration.

Some politicians in Washington, D.C. and in states like California are pushing legislative and regulatory “solutions” that would make things even harder for families and Texas manufacturers.

Some have sought to scapegoat U.S. energy producers for global fuel supply challenges.

Others are advocating for fuel export bans that could raise prices here at home and curb the United States’ energy-producing capacity.

More recently, California passed a gas car ban with far reaching consequences for millions of American drivers. And there are still those who would like to impose taxes specifically aimed at U.S. fuel producers.

The wave of these bad policy ideas makes clear that too many of our leaders in Washington and in state capitals like Sacramento don’t know the fundamentals of U.S. energy and would do well to remember that less U.S. energy production, less Texas fuel refining, and bans on the types of cars people can drive would hurt, not help, American families and would undercut our efforts toward a cleaner energy future.

To remedy high prices and keep our energy and electricity reliable, we need either more supply or less demand. None of the recent legislative proposals address that fact or acknowledge that our population is growing and so are our energy needs.  

Here in Texas, fuel manufacturers are operating at near-maximum capacity after suffering significant setbacks during the COVID pandemic, both financially and in terms of lost fuel demand. Their high utilization and product outputs are helping the U.S. produce more gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel than any other country, and are also helping to rebuild depleted U.S. fuel stores.

It’s a good thing that this is happening here – both for our economy and the environment – since no other country comes close to manufacturing fuel as clean or as efficiently as we do.

It may be the natural instinct of our politicians to focus on quick-fix regulations or outright bans and mandates to prove that they care about energy prices and our climate. But the better solution is to look at the big picture and allow American energy producers, manufacturers, and refiners – along with all the other energy and vehicle technologies – to compete for the long-haul.

More competition and more options are how prices go down and we achieve clean technology breakthroughs. In the past few months, it’s been the increase in fuel production by Texas refineries that has helped steadily bring down the price of gasoline – not misguided policies from Washington or green energy policies in other states.

In fact, we’ve seen some of those policies contribute to energy and electricity shortages.

Texas Representatives in Congress, including Congressman Vicente Gonzalez (below far right, D-TX, being Sworn into Congress by Speaker Nancy Pelosi,) need to provide a line of defense against bad policies. An all-of-the-above approach to energy – for both U.S. National Security and family's affordability reasons – is still the best way forward. Liquid fuels and Texas fuel refiners play a critical role in that diversified approach.

When he was first elected as a Freshman in 2017, Congressman Gonzalez was keen on educating his fellow Members about the benefits of harnessing Texas’s natural resources – including oil and gas production and fuel refining. Five years later, this mission to help inform Washington, D.C. about the economic benefits and global advantages of a strong Texas energy and refining sector is more critical than ever. California’s ban on gas and diesel cars can only move forward if President Biden and the EPA let it.

Congressman Gonzalez is in a prime position to tell them why it should not.

Energy and fuel demand will continue to grow with the world population, and that demand will be met – if not by American refineries and American-made fuels – by refineries and renewable energy and battery supply chains controlled by China.

Joacim Hernandez is President of the Texas Young Republicans Federation.