Sen. Dan Sullivan took to the Senate floor on May 13 to call out the Biden Administration for its “cavalier and condescending attitude” towards oil and gas development.
In particular, he blasted Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm’s recent comments regarding the shutdown of the Colonial Pipeline in the wake of a ransomware attack. The May 7 shutdown has left Seventeen states and the District of Columbia in a declared state of emergency, as the Colonial Pipeline is America’s largest east of the Mississippi River – transporting nearly half of all fuel consumed on the East Coast.
Granholm suggested that if people would just drive electric cars, they wouldn’t be impacted by the closure.
“If you drive an electric car, [fuel shortages] would not be affecting you, clearly,” she said. The comment came during a White House briefing with reporters about the shutdown and ensuing gas shortage and ensuing price hikes.
“Of course, the media just let her go. They didn’t ask her if she knew that, just as meat doesn’t come from a grocery store, energy just doesn’t come from a wall,” Sullivan said of the comment. “It just doesn’t appear like magic when you plug into it – that it comes from many sources, including natural gas, including oil.”
Sullivan noted that all energy, “including alternative energy requires transmission lines. Lines that are also subject to being attacked like the Colonial Pipeline.”
He also blasted Granholm’s suggestion that people wouldn’t be affected by the pipeline closure if they just drove electric cars, the average price of which he said was “more than $55,000 dollars.”
“Maybe that’s a bargain for her, but for the people the Biden administration is putting out of work that is a huge price tag,” Sullivan said.
He then turned to the Biden Administration’s overall approach to U.S. energy production, saying the Colonial Pipeline should be seen as a “warning for America.”
On President Biden’s first day in office, he killed the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline which would run from Alberta to Texas. He also signed a 60-day moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands, a move that has locked up future drilling.
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Sullivan suggested that energy disruptions will become common place if we “don’t change the Biden Administrations energy policies for America.”
“They are restricting the production of oil and gas,” he said. “You have federal agencies that are either killing pipelines or slow rolling pipelines.”
Sullivan’s comments come just two months after he joined Sen. Lisa Murkowski in voting with Senate Democrats to confirm radical environmentalist Deb Haaland as the U.S. Interior Secretary, giving her the reigns of the agency responsible for overseeing one-quarter of U.S. oil and gas production. The confirmation vote was 51 to 40 with most other Republicans rejecting her confirmation.
“The vote to confirm Congresswoman Deb Haaland was one of the most difficult I have made during my time in the U.S. Senate,” Sullivan stated at the time. “As a congresswoman, Haaland took positions publicly — cosponsoring the Green New Deal, prohibiting all gas and oil leasing on federal lands, and displaying hostility toward Alaska Native people and systems just because they are different from the Lower 48 model she is familiar with — that I believe would clearly negatively impact Alaska and America.”
Despite these concerns, Sullivan voted for her because he thought it “may enhance my ability to successfully advocate for a ceasefire in the Biden administration’s war on the Alaska economy and working families.”
Whether that vote will pay any dividends remains to be seen.