NASHVILLE, TN—United States Senator Bill Hagerty (R-TN) today joined The Story with Martha MacCallum to discuss his recent visit to Israel and the Biden Administration’s misguided decision to suspend oil and gas leases in Alaska pending environmental review.
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Hagerty on American energy independence: “You mentioned the fact that there’s an important national security element to this as well. You know, my previous job before coming to the United States Senate, I served as the United States Ambassador to Japan. Japan’s our most important strategic ally in the Pacific region. And I worked very hard then to export American energy to Japan. And my argument with the Japanese was, ‘We’re not just exporting energy, we’re exporting freedom.’ Japan doesn’t need to be reliant on Russia or other countries that don’t have their best interests at heart. We need to work with our allies, as well. Our energy independence was a huge strategic asset. This puts us in danger from a strategic standpoint, from an economic standpoint. Look at gas at the pump now… gas is 150% or higher than it was [Memorial Day a year ago]. That’s a tax on the entire middle class… Biden is approving Russia’s Nord Stream 2 at the same time, he’s making it even more difficult for energy producers right here in America.”
Hagerty on how Biden is failing to hold Russia accountable: “This is a centrally controlled Russia. Putin has his fingerprints on everything that happens there, and to give Russia, again, an easy way out, this has been part-and-parcel of the Biden Administration’s path. He needs to hold Russia accountable on this, and I think he should do it very forcefully.”
Hagerty on his trip to Israel: “[The far-left’s anti-Israel sentiment is] why it was all the more important that I be there. It was important to show Israel that America stands behind it, unequivocally. The message coming from the far left of the Democrat party is not the heart and mind of the American people. We stand with and support Israel. They’ve been through an 11-day war. The Iron Dome did a fantastic job. I wanted to be on the ground to see exactly what Iron Dome had done.”