WASHINGTON—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN), a member of the Senate Banking Committee, today joined Kudlow on Fox Business to discuss the damaging repercussions of the Biden Administration’s war on energy for America’s economy, national security, and the lives of the American people.
Hagerty on Biden’s war on American energy weakening U.S. national security: “[President] Joe Biden lives in an alternate universe, as do all of his radical left friends in the Democrat party that seem to want to push us over the abyss into, you know, never-never land that they seem to only live in. We cannot make it without fossil fuels as a nation. They’re trying to push us into more dependency on countries like China who make the solar panels and who make the windmills. What about the lithium that we need if we go to electronic vehicles? And by the way, we don’t have the infrastructure to do that, even if we wanted to. Again, this is an alternate reality that Joe Biden lives in. It will not work, but in the meantime, America is suffering greatly. As you mentioned, it takes away our energy independence—that’s our national security, Larry. We’re becoming more and more dependent every day on other nations that don’t have our best interest at heart, every day that Joe Biden continues to wage this war on American energy.”
Hagerty on reports that Biden is considering a gas tax holiday: “This is nothing but a midterm election gimmick. They’re trying to buy votes right now with this. And you know, I think it’ll give perhaps some very-near-term relief to the people at the pump, but it doesn’t fix the inherent problem. The inherent problem is that Biden is doing everything he can to crush supply in the demand-supply equation. That’s what’s driven prices through the roof. It’s not Vladimir Putin. It’s not anything else. It’s Joe Biden’s policies, a deep regulatory state that’s attacking the industry—the oil and gas industry—whether it be financial regs, whether it be the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] regs, you name it; they’re depressing supply with a regulatory construct. They’re killing any capital inflow that comes into the industry. And you know, a short-term gimmick like this is just nothing but that. Very shortsighted. It will not fix the inherent problem. If they go to a tax, particularly if they go to an excess tax on a problem that they’ve created, it’s as you said, as Art Laffer always says: you want less of something, tax it more. That’s not going to be a fix either […] And if you get down to the root cause of anything that they might denominate as an excess profit, it’s the fact that they are starving any incentive to reinvest capital in the American oil and gas industry. If you’re not reinvesting, your depreciation line’s going to inherently, you know, by definition, go down. So, you may have a short-term increase, but they don’t have an outlet to invest their profits right now. That’s what we should be doing is reinvesting in American energy. Biden is creating every disincentive to do that.”
Hagerty on Biden’s reported gas rebate card plan: “I’ve still heard about this, this rebate idea. Again, it’s just another form of stimulus. Again, more inflation. It also doesn’t get at the root problem of fixing the supply. So, they’re looking at every way they can to buy votes ahead of the midterm election. I think that’s the only signal we can take from this, Larry.”
Hagerty on the repercussions of the Biden Administration’s green energy pursuit: “You’re spot on, Larry… they talked about this on his trip to Asia—[Biden said] we’re going to go through this terrible transformation. […] But this [green energy] transformation is going to be very painful in the short to medium term. What he leaves out is the fact that we are going to wind up in a much deeper strategic pit than we already are in with his leadership. This transformation isn’t working, and it’s not going to work because the technology isn’t there, the infrastructure is not there, and again, it makes us more dependent on countries like China that do have the capacity to produce the solar panels, to produce the wind turbines, and to produce the lithium that we don’t have present here in America. You know, it just makes us long for the day… when you were our national economic advisor, when our national security was much stronger, when gas prices were less than half of what they are today. I mean, you talk about a gas tax holiday today, I guess every day under President Trump’s leadership was a tax holiday—a gas tax holiday—because we enjoyed far lower prices then.”
Hagerty on what could be done to lower gas prices and reduce inflation: “Well, the answer’s right at our doorstep: if we could just stop waging war on the American energy industry. Biden has the tools to do that, but he will not do it. That’s the most inflationary component of all of his backwards-looking policies is the fact that he continues to wage this war on energy. Energy is an input factor for so many things in our economy. That’s what’s the driving force behind this inflation, as you’ve mentioned, you know, many times before, this is funding Putin’s war machine against Ukraine, it is weakening us from a national security standpoint, and Biden continues and persists at pursuing this blind green new deal policy again, to the great detriment to the American public.”
Hagerty on the reported revival of Democrats’ so-called Build Back Better: “I’ve heard the rumors that you have, Larry. But again, only rumors. I’ve seen no text, but it’s very hard for me to believe that [Senator] Joe Manchin, who actually held the line before, would look at doing something like this at this point. He was concerned about inflation earlier when he turned down the $3.5 trillion package that probably would’ve been five or six trillion. Now we’ve seen these policies manifest themselves and we’re looking at record levels of inflation right now, and that inflation is accelerating. So, I have a hard time believing that Senator Manchin would go to a policy that would again, raise corporate taxes that’ll be just passed through to the consumers again, more inflation, and any stimulus spending that they’re talking about in terms of this green new deal policy, again, inherently inflationary, and particularly if it constrains supply of energy, it’s going to drive prices up even further. I can’t believe that Joe Manchin would want to do that.”