By DAN MCCALEB
THE CENTER SQUARE
(The Center Square) – Treasurers and other financial officers from 22 states on Tuesday warned President Joe Biden about the need for U.S. energy independence as gas prices remain near record highs and the Russian war in Ukraine continues, impacting global oil supplies.
In a letter from the State Financial Officers Foundation (SFOF) to President Biden, the 27 state officers urged the president to prioritize energy production in the U.S.
“The Biden Administration seems hell-bent on destroying American domestic energy while boosting reliance on adversaries like Russia, Iran, and Venezuela,” John Murante, Nebraska’s state treasurer and SFOF National Chair, said in a statement. “It’s time for the Biden Administration to step up and prioritize America’s energy interdependence for the sake of our economy and our national security.”
U.S. gas prices began rising shortly after President Biden took office last year, when he began placing new restrictions on the oil and gas industry, including halting new production leases on federal lands and shutting down the Keystone Pipeline project.
Gas prices rose further after Russia invaded Ukraine in February and the U.S., Canada, Australia and some other countries banned imports of Russian oil. As gas prices have risen, overall inflation reached 40 year highs as food and other costs also have increased significantly.
“As Americans across the country are grappling with rising inflation and paying more for gas than ever before, the time for action from President Biden and his administration is now,” Derek Kreifels, CEO of SFOF, said in a statement. “Americans should not have to bear the burden of Biden’s anti-energy agenda.”
The financial officers warned that U.S. security is at stake.
“The depth and breadth of American innovation is unparalleled globally, including the development of green technologies,” the letter said. “However, oil, gas, coal, and nuclear are currently the most reliable and plentiful baseload power sources for America and much of the rest of the world. Striving to change this fact ahead of the free market’s ability to adapt and during a time of international unrest threatens our national security.”
The letter was signed by officials from Arizona, Arkansas, Alaska, Georgia, Florida, Indiana, Idaho, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wyoming.