Sullivan Tells Biden: Send Envoys to Alaska & Texas—Not Saudi Arabia & Venezuela—for America’s Energy Needs
Senator also warns of Democrats’ “bone-crushing” tax hikes in climate proposal
WASHINGTON—U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) joined Larry Kudlow on Fox Business Network yesterday and criticized President Joe Biden for begging dictators around the world—this week, in Saudi Arabia—to produce more oil when states, like Alaska, have untapped resources waiting to be produced by American workers. The senator called on the president to send envoys to Alaska and Texas—not the dictators in Saudi Arabia and Venezuela—to meet with producers and hear how the administration can help, rather than hinder, greater American energy production and bring down skyrocketing prices. Sullivan also discussed congressional Democrats’ latest push for new climate change legislation that the senator warns reportedly includes “bone-crushing” tax increases on small businesses.
President Biden’s Saudi Arabia Visit (Transcript)
LK: You got Joe Biden now, his own guy said today—gave a press conference, or a background briefing—they are going to ask Saudi Arabia to supply the market with more oil. Okay, so like, I just want to know, why is Saudi Arabian oil better, cleaner, than American oil and gas for that matter? Help us out here.
DS: It's not. And what the administration needs to do is send an envoy to Alaska, and an envoy to Texas, and an envoy to North Dakota, and say “Hey, can we help you increase production here?” The answer is hell yeah, you can help. You can get the boot off the neck of our producers. You can start permitting infrastructure. You can start going to financial institutions and telling them to loan to small oil and gas and medium oil and gas producers, not crush them. Those are all things, as you know, Larry, that they did from day one—to limit production of American energy, to limit and kill infrastructure and pipelines, to go to Wall Street and appoint financial regulators who actually are trying to choke off capital to the energy sector. But here's the thing. The president is showing up in Saudi Arabia weak; he's [going] from a position of weakness when he's there. If he were going there and we were the superpower of energy, the way we were at the end of the Trump administration, that is a much stronger position than to be begging for oil from dictators, whether it's dictators in Saudi Arabia, Iran, or Venezuela. We need to produce more American energy. We have the highest environmental standards in the world, the best working standards in the world, and we need it here at home, and we shouldn't have to go begging when we have plenty to produce in our own country. Certainly in my state.
LK: You know, Senator, I'm just going to read to you (from) Amos Hochstein, the administration's special presidential coordinator for energy, security and infrastructure. So he did a backgrounder with Fox Business and he says the administration plans to discuss with the Saudis “the importance to make sure that the global economy is well supplied with oil.” Now, I'm scratching my head and I'm thinking, really? We have a lot of supplies in Alaska and Texas, in the Gulf, in the Bakken, in the Marcellus. I mean, how about somebody asks Texas or Alaska to “well supply” the world oil market? You think we could deliver that or could have delivered that, if somebody had asked?
DS: We could deliver it, right? And what we need is a federal government that wants to support us in doing that, and what we've had, from day one of this administration, is the opposite. Like I said, send an envoy to Alaska, send an envoy to Texas. You don't have to go all the way to Saudi Arabia. These guys even sent an envoy to Venezuela, begging that dictator for more oil. It makes no sense. It's offensive to the average American. And, again, Larry, you know, we have the highest standards in the world, we have the best workers in the world. The idea that we have to go outsource this to dictators around the world not only undermines our economic security, but it really undermines our national security. So I hope that when they get home, they realize that they need to focus on domestic production and quit begging dictators around the world for more oil.
Democrats’ Climate Negotiations (Transcript)
LK: Let me begin with this reconciliation package. I'm looking at this thing and doing some research. This is nuts. This is absolutely nuts. And I don't know why anybody would want it. Joe Manchin, who has done so much good work, he's really letting everybody down it seems to me now. And it's very gimmicky and it's kind of phony baloney. Anyway, what do you know about this package and what can you tell us that's going on here?
DS: Well, I think the more we get out, the numbers that you just talked about, the more likely it is that we're going to deep-six this thing. I mean, of course, as you know, if the Democrats have the full 50 senators supporting it, they can move on it. But what we're doing is talking about what's actually in it, and you just described it perfectly—bone-crushing tax increases on the most productive element of our economy, small businesses. It is literally insane to do two things right now: dramatically increase spending when their American Recovery Act of two trillion dollars, the Democrats’ partisan bill, put gas on the fire of inflation a year and a half ago—to do another trillion dollars of spending. And, then, on the likelihood of an eve of a recession, do major tax increases. It is completely upside down economic policy. And what we're trying to do is get the word out. Hey, we've all had discussions with Joe Manchin, he's a good friend of mine. I'm not sure he understands that aspect of the bone-crushing element, focused on small businesses, which is certainly the backbone of West Virginia's economy. But it's the backbone of America's economy, Larry, as you just described.
LK: You know, Senator Sullivan, it's just like Senator Manchin has been describing this, and he did it again yesterday, as a FICA loophole. It's not a FICA loophole. In fact, it has nothing to do with FICA. And I hope he maybe hears this riff that I made or else does his own research, or else does a little bit of reading. Talk to his senior staff and what-not. Because it has nothing to do with FICA. All of this is just an attack on small businesses and it's an application of the net investment tax, which was explicitly rejected back in 2010. I mean, that's the amazing thing. They looked at it and they rejected it.
DS: And the point of what you just mentioned, and I think it's really important: NFIB and other groups who represent small businesses in America coming and weighing in the way in which they've done, outlining that this could be as much as a $400 billion dollar tax increase on small businesses. That's what we need to keep amplifying, and I'm hopeful that Joe Manchin will see the light. He's seen the light on other really dumb schemes that Chuck Schumer has put forward, and I'm hopeful, with this information out, he's going to see the light on this one and we're going to kill it like we did Build Back Better.
LK: Well, like you, I'm hopeful that Senator Manchin sees the light because I've been a big admirer of his and a friend. And you know, he's a good man, but on this one, he's on the wrong track.
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