A new analysis by the Heartland Institute reports that the typical American family’s home heating and cooling costs increased by as much as $1,000 in 2021 as a result of President Joe Biden’s energy and environmental policies.
“The average U.S. household in 2021 spent an extra $600 in higher gasoline costs and $70 in higher electricity costs. Further, households that use natural gas spent an extra $300, on average, and those using home heating oil paid $1,000 more. Cumulatively, the average American household paid about $1,000 in higher energy costs in 2021, compared to 2020,” Heartland authors Linnea Lueken and Jack Taylor wrote in the report.
“It’s also important to note that these higher energy prices have been baked into the costs for all goods and services bought and sold in the economy, contributing to across-the-board inflation. With those costs in mind, it’s clear the Biden administration’s disastrous energy and climate policies cost the average U.S. household—directly or indirectly—much more than $1,000 over the past year,” Lueken and Taylor said.
Taylor is president of the Chicago-based Heartland Institute, a conservative educational foundation. Lueken is a Heartland research fellow.
Among the Biden policies the report claims are causing energy costs to increase dramatically:
- Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline linking Canadian oil-producing areas with refineries in the Midwestern and Southern United States.
- Restricting drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea, and continental federal lands, especially in the Western United States.
- Placing a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal lands.
- Rescinding energy production leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
- Plans to close nearly half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska.
- Stringent new regulations on methane emissions from domestic U.S. oil and gas production.
- Classifying residual water wastes from oil and gas drilling as toxic.
- Considering boosting royalties paid to the federal government by fossil-fuel companies producing oil and natural gas on federal lands.
Taylor told The Epoch Times on Feb. 15 that Biden’s most damaging policies “are blocking the Keystone XL pipeline and suspending oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.”
But Taylor said Biden’s policies are also creating an “overall chilling message and atmosphere” that discourages “investment and production, which in turn is creating a supply shortage and higher prices” for affordable fossil fuels.
Dan Kish, senior vice president of the Institute for Energy Research, agreed with the Heartland report’s analysis, telling The Epoch Times that “instead of pushing expensive energy and begging OPEC and Russia for more oil, President Biden should be working to remove impediments to energy production here at home, speed pipelines and reduce regulations.”
Kish also predicted increased additional energy and related consumer costs due to Biden’s emphasis on converting the U.S. private transportation system from internal combustion engines that use gasoline to Electric Vehicles (EV).
“The $1,000-per-family increase in energy costs is just the start. The skyrocketing cost of new cars must be added to the bill since every EV built loses money for their producers, which forces automakers to increase prices of regular internal combustion engine vehicles,” Kish said.
Kish also noted that EV prices are headed upward, saying: “Despite all the hype and Super Bowl commercials, EVs are facing waves of price increases due to China’s control of the minerals and products that go into these vehicles’ batteries and systems.”
Congressional leaders interviewed by The Epoch Times also pointed to Biden energy and environmental policies as driving rising consumer costs for heating and cooling homes and fueling cars and trucks.
Sen. John Boozman (R-Ark.) told The Epoch Times: “Skyrocketing energy costs are the result of the bad policies pursued by this out-of-touch administration. President Biden paused all oil and gas leasing on federal lands and killed construction of the Keystone XL pipeline within his first week on the job. Those actions have consequences, and it is hardworking Americans who are paying the price of the president’s reckless agenda.”
Boozman is a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
Similarly, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.), the top Republican member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told The Epoch Times: “After a year of his energy crisis, President Biden needs to abandon the radical agenda to shut down American energy,” because “$1,000 more in energy costs to drive to work and power our homes hits low- and middle-income families the hardest.”
Earlier this year, Rodgers, in a letter to Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, said: “Rather than support American workers and help to reduce energy bills for consumers, the Biden administration appears intent on making the United States subservient to foreign countries for the critical minerals needed to build electric vehicles and batteries.
“The administration’s actions and statements, combined with its stated goals to impose even more Federal regulations and mandate economy-wide net zero greenhouse gas emissions, are directly contributing to surging energy prices and America’s growing dependence on unpredictable Chinese supply chains.”
A White House spokesman didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment on the Heartland analysis.
The Epoch Times also reached out to Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rep. Donald McEachin (D-Va.), and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.). Grijalva chairs the House Natural Resources Committee. That committee’s website describes the three as “leading the environmental justice movement.”
As of press time, none of those lawmakers responded to a request for comment on the environmental justice implications of rising energy costs for American families. The Epoch Times also reached out to Sen. Joe Manchin (R-W.Va.). A spokesperson for Manchin declined to comment on the Heartland report.
In addition, The Epoch Times reached out to four environmental groups for comment: the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), the Property and Environment Research Center (PERC), ConservAmerica, and the Climate Justice Alliance (CJA).
The NRDC, PERC, and Climate Justice Alliance didn’t respond by press time. A spokesperson for PERC declined to comment, stating that the group isn’t focused on this policy area at the moment.