For the last year, Coloradans have watched as the cost of gasoline crept to its highest point in a decade at over $3.50 a gallon and our heating bills soared – some as high as 37%. Meanwhile, a decades-long conflict was bubbling over in Eastern Europe that would exacerbate those struggles for working families. Little did Americans know that the actions of a tyrant some 5,000 miles away would be felt so quickly in our own nation. Worst of all, those impacts could’ve been avoided.
Now, as nearly two weeks have passed since the invasion of Ukraine, President Biden and his administration finally decided to halt the import of Russian oil. That move is too little, too late.
Since taking office, President Biden has been very successful at increasing our nation’s dependence on foreign energy, and before you think that it was all in the name of environmental progress, keep in mind that demand for oil and gas has remained the same, but the source has changed. Instead of harvesting these fuels from our own land – which we do cleaner and more efficiently than any other nation – we now are importing more from nations such as Russia. We’ve effectively traded energy independence for virtue signaling, and in turn, our dollars are being used to help fund the invasion of a sovereign nation.
Biden should have done an about-face as soon as he realized that the invasion of Ukraine was imminent. The Keystone XL pipeline should have been rebooted (Biden canceled the project as soon as he took office) and federal lands should have been responsibly opened back up for drilling. The President still hasn’t done this – and Senator Bennet has failed to call upon him to do so.
Senator Bennet stood against the Keystone XL pipeline and he voted against sanctions on the Nord Steam 2 pipeline that would “increase Moscow’s leverage over Europe” by allowing more Russian gas into Europe.
With Biden’s ban on Russian oil imports – and no willingness to increase domestic production – we have effectively traded one regime for another. Nations such as Saudi Arabia will now fill the void, again undermining our nation’s energy independence and potentially our national security.
This isn’t just about oil and gas, either. Here in Colorado, Democrats recently killed legislation proposed by Republican State Senator Bob Rankin, a supporter of my campaign, that would have ensured that our state begin exploring small-scale, modular nuclear reactors. While states such as Wyoming, West Virginia, and Indiana take the lead on alternative energy sources, Colorado is again left behind.
Over in Europe, Germans are facing a difficult next few months as nearly 32% of their oil comes from Russia. Just next door, France has remained energy independent, as 70% of its energy comes from domestic nuclear reactors.
To date, Joe Biden, Michael Bennet, and Democrats in Washington D.C. have failed to lead, and that failure has resulted in us inadvertently funding Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and will result in further hits to our wallet. In November, we need to elect leaders who will recommit to energy independence and ensure that Americans are never put in this situation again.