Sen. John Kennedy (R-La.) denounced President Joe Biden’s energy policies, saying they will devastate his state’s economy and make the United States more dependent on other countries for our energy needs.
“His war on oil and gas is going to hurt America. It’s going to destroy our energy independence,” Kennedy told Fox News on Wednesday.
“Well, let me say a word about President Biden’s executive orders on oil and gas trade. They are immeasurably foolish,” added Kennedy. “They’re going to gut Louisiana like a fish. One-third of my state’s GDP is related to oil and gas, and our state is not alone.”
“Here’s President Biden’s New Energy Policy. We’re not going to produce our own oil. Instead, we’re going to buy oil from countries that hate us. So, they’ll have more money to buy weapons to try to kill us. It’s immeasurably foolish,” Kennedy continued.
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, Louisiana is one of the top five states in both natural gas production and reserves, making up 9 percent of U.S. total gas production in 2019 and it has about 7 percent of the nation’s gas reserves. In addition, Kennedy’s state’s 17 oil refineries account for nearly one-fifth of the nation’s refining capacity and can process 3.3 million barrels of crude oil per day.
One of Biden’s executive orders directs the secretary of the interior to halt new oil and gas leases on federal public lands and waters and another order titled, “Tackling the Climate Crisis at Home and Abroad Executive Order,” calls for the interior secretary to launch a rigorous review of existing energy leases and permits while identifying steps toward doubling offshore wind energy production by 2030.
Biden said his administration is taking these steps to deal with climate change because the planet is in peril. “That’s why I’m signing today an executive order to supercharge our administration’s ambitious plan to confront the existential threat of climate change. And it is an existential threat,” said Biden.
However, the Louisiana lawmaker doesn’t agree with the Biden administration on how to deal with climate change.
“I think once again, President Biden has given in to the left-wing crazies who say none of us except them care about the planet. That’s not true,” said Kennedy.
“Most Americans support, an all of the above energy policy, oil, gas, wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, hydrogen. But they also understand that we can’t run the greatest economy in all of human history without oil and gas. Not now, and not probably for a long time,” added Kennedy.
Eric Smith, associate director of Tulane’s Energy Institute says President Biden’s halt on new drilling could have a major negative impact on the chemical plants and refineries in Louisiana.
“What we will see is higher costs for fuel and a lessening of enthusiasm for all the heavy capital investment that’s gone into the state in the last ten years,” Smith told Louisiana’s WWLTV. “I don’t think that (Biden’s) advisors understand the seriousness of the impact that they could have on the U.S economy, in particular on the Louisiana economy.”
However, a climate change watchdog group, Earthjustice’s President Abigail Dillen released a statement on Jan. 27, lauding President Biden’s executive orders on climate change.
“Announcing a pause on new federal fossil fuel leasing is the first step to reining in oil and gas drilling that accounts for 25 [percent] of U.S. carbon pollution while ravaging our public lands and coastal waters. As the world’s largest oil and gas producer, the U.S. must lead by making treasured public lands part of the solution to climate change,” Dillen said.
Biden said his policy changes will create good-paying jobs in the clean energy sector, to replace those lost in the fossil fuel industry.
“A key plank of our Build Back Better Recovery Plan is building a modern, resilient climate infrastructure and clean energy future that will create millions of good-paying union jobs,” Biden said during a White House press conference on his climate change executive orders.
Kennedy criticized the effect the Biden administration’s climate change policies will have on American fossil fuel workers’ livelihoods. He pushed back at John Kerry’s comment about oil workers should learn how to install solar panels, saying that is not a realistic expectation.
“Well, no disrespect to Secretary Kerry but he’s living in la-la land,” said Kennedy.
“I mean, you’re going tell a 50-year-old woman, who’s been working for an oil and gas company who’s developed extraordinary expertise, who has kids in school, who has a mortgage to pay, just to quit your job, because we’re going fire you anyway, and go back to school. And then you can go work in a green job,” he said. “That’s just not realistic.”