Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) has said a key factor in achieving national security is to make the United States energy-dominant on the global stage.
He criticized the Biden administration’s foreign and energy policies, calling them "dangerous."
“And now we've shown weakness on the world stage," Johnson said, referring to the Afghanistan withdrawal. "And as we always say, weakness invites aggression. And this is a very, very dangerous time. All of this could have been avoided,"
Many Republicans, including Johnson, were critical of President Joe Biden’s 2021 withdrawal from Afghanistan, in which Americans were left behind when the last U.S. troops withdrew on Aug. 30. Thirteen U.S. service members were killed by a suicide bombing attack, which Republicans said could have been prevented, and which critics say made Biden look weak and emboldened U.S. adversaries.
Johnson was also critical of Biden’s executive order to end U.S. energy projects that would have ensured U.S. energy independence.
“When President Biden took office, just reflexively, his first couple of days in office, he issued that blizzard of executive orders," he said. "And among those were, of course, stopping the Keystone Pipeline, which would have been key for our country to maintain our energy dominance—not just energy independence, but energy dominance.”
Johnson said his state of Louisiana was negatively affected by Biden’s executive order, which also included a moratorium on oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters.
“And then of course he put the moratorium on federal lands production, and that included off the coast of Louisiana as well. All these things had very, very negative consequences for production and for our own domestic supply,” Johnson said. “And, of course, the greatest tragedy of it all is that to meet our demand in the U.S., we had to then go to Russia and Saudi Arabia; ask them to supply our oil needs. It’s just crazy public policy.”
Johnson said Russian President Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion illustrates why the United States needs to lead in energy production and that Biden should immediately take steps to develop the country's own oil and gas projects.
“And so not only did that put us in reliance upon Putin, but it flooded his coffers as well," Johnson said. "And so now he has hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars flowing through his accounts because we're seeking our oil and gas supply there when we have it just beneath our own feet. We need to reverse those policies immediately.”