Sullivan: Biden’s Domestic Energy Surrender Put President in “Position of Weakness” with Saudi Arabia

Senator Outlines Path to Restore American Energy Dominance

WASHINGTON—On CNBC Squawk Box this morning, U.S. Senator Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska) called President Joe Biden’s recent trip to Saudi Arabia a failure due to the president’s inability to secure commitments from the Saudis to ramp up oil and gas production. Sullivan argued that the president’s domestic energy policies—blocking energy infrastructure, pressing the financial sector to blackball American energy, and appointing anti-U.S. energy senior financial officials—have put the United States in a position of weakness in global negotiations. Sullivan also argued that a rapid transition to renewable energy is “not a serious policy prescription,” noting that the International Energy Agency (IEA) and the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) have determined oil and gas will still be needed by the global economy for decades.

On Biden’s failed trip to Saudi Arabia

SullivanThere was a lot of attention on the fist-bump, and markets were not impressed yesterday with oil going up. But I think the trip, in many ways, really highlighted the colossal strategic mistake of the Biden administration's energy policy. It is hard to think of a sector of the U.S. economy or of American interest—national security, energy security, inflation, working families, and even the environment and emissions—that has not been undermined by this administration’s policy, which was to unilaterally disarm with regard to American energy production. which has the highest environmental standards and protections in the world, certainly higher than Saudi Arabia. The president showed up there from a position of weakness.”

On how to restore American energy dominance

SullivanI think it takes reversing what this administration has done since day one. As you know, they have sought to limit production in America. They have made it really hard to permit [infrastructure], whether it is LNG permits for terminals, whether it's pipelines to move energy, like Keystone. They have slow-rolled that. They have gone to the financial sector and strong-armed them not to invest in the American energy sector, which is remarkable. And, then, throughout the entire financial area, in terms of senior administration officials that they are appointing, they have had this goal of choking off capital to the American energy sector. So if they reverse on these key areas that I just mentioned—which has been their policy since day one—I think you will see the energy sector move back to where you were talking about: American energy dominance. That would be good for inflation to come down, it would be good for working families, and it would certainly be good for our national security.” 

On Democrats’ planned “rapid” transition to renewables

SullivanWhether it is the Biden administration’s own Energy Information [Administration] or the [International Energy Agency] in Paris, they all unequivocally state that we are going to be needing oil and gas for decades to come. That is a fact. If we need that, why shouldn’t we produce it in America, with the highest standards on the environment and the highest standards on workers…There is a lack of seriousness when you look at some of the cabinet officials in the Biden administration, when they talk about this. Their go-to talking point right now—whether it is the Secretary of Energy, Secretary of Interior, or Secretary of Transportation—is we need to ‘rapidly’ move to electric vehicles. Just listen to them. That’s what they say almost every time. That is not a serious talking point, that is not a serious policy prescription, when you look at the challenges we have in the energy sector.” 

Sullivan also highlighted his recently-introduced Investor Democracy is Expected (INDEX) Act to address problems stemming from the consolidated corporate ownership and voting power within Wall Street’s largest investment advisers and their index funds.

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