Amid Surging Gas Prices, Sen. Marshall Offers Bill to Lower Cost of Fuel

Senate Democrats Block Legislation

(Washington, D.C., June 14, 2022) — Today, U.S. Senator Roger Marshall, M.D. took to the Senate floor to demand passage of his Gas Prices Relief Act, legislation to block the Biden Administration from continuing to stifle the American energy industry. Specifically, his bill prohibits the introduction of any new regulations that decrease U.S. energy production or increase gasoline prices. By getting government out of the way, domestic oil and gas production will increase and prices will drop. Despite the national average cost of a gallon of gasoline exceeding $5, Senate Democrats objected to Senator Marshall’s Gas Prices Relief Act and in turn, refused to act to alleviate record prices at the pump for Americans.

During his speech, Senator Marshall said, in part,

“Rising energy prices add inflationary pressure to everything. It’s like a game of dominoes. When the diesel fuel powering our 18-wheelers are costing truckers 80% more than it did last year, they are going to have to raise their rates to compensate. When businesses are paying 30% more for their gas utilities, they are going to have to raise their prices to make up the difference. And Kansans – already paying more just to get to the store – are continually finding that what money they have left is getting them less and less every week…I am here today to ask for unanimous consent to pass the Gas Prices Relief Act which would bar any Federal agency from finalizing any rule or regulation that would make it harder to produce American fuels. Our legislation would set us on course to bring down prices at the pump by getting out of the way of American production and allowing them to power the world without more needlessly restrictive rules and regulations. Good energy policy will fix the current crisis, not more reckless spending or regulations…”

You may click HERE or on the image below to watch Senator Marshall’s full remarks.

Background on Gas Prices Relief Act

  • On March 31, Senator Marshall introduced the Gas Prices Relief Act along with Senators Steve Daines (MT) and Mike Braun (IN).
  • The Gas Prices Relief Act would stop any new rule or regulation from going into effect if it would:
    • Decrease oil, gas, or biofuels production
    • Increase gasoline prices
    • Have negative impacts on energy production, domestic electricity generation, transmission of fuel or electricity
  • The prohibition remains in effect until either Jan 1, 2023 or until the national average consumer gas price is $2.60 or less. The current national average is $4.25 a gallon. One year ago, the national average gas price was $2.80, it was even less when Biden was inaugurated, averaging closer to $2.40 a gallon.

Senator Marshall’s Full Remarks as Prepared:

Madam President,

This past Saturday I got to spend my morning with the East Central Kansas Model T club back home in Kansas. I even got to take a joy ride in a 1921 model T. Among many stories, I learned Americans were paying 21 cents a gallon when this car was made. It wasn’t until 1975, 54 years later that gas had doubled from that price, jumping from 39 to 53 cents. 

I don’t have to remind anyone that thanks to our President’s energy and reckless spending policies, he accomplished a doubling in less than 2 years.

Yes, gas is now over $5 a gallon…can you believe it? 

We are seeing record prices and have now gone 16 days in a row without a single downtick.

And this is why I am here today to ask for unanimous consent to pass the Gas Prices Relief Act which would bar any Federal agency from finalizing any rule or regulation that would make it harder to produce American fuels. My legislation would send the right signal to American producers and investors, it would show them that Congress sees the problem and are ready to address it. It would set us on course to bring down prices at the pump not with more reckless spending, but by getting out of the way of American production and allowing them to power the world without more needlessly restrictive rules and regulations

With this more than doubling of price, many families are telling me they are paying $50 -$100 a week more for gas, that’s $2-400 a month. And on top of that, their monthly utility bills have doubled. 

I am sure this Administration will propose more reckless spending to fix that too…

Unfortunately, Bidenflation is impacting many Kansas families to the tune of a $6-700 a month, that’s over $7000 a year. Why the increase? 

Now, I’m not an economist, but it looks to me like if you increase the regulations on a process, on a business, that’s a sure-fire way to decrease the supply. And as we all know our President and his policies are ramping up regulations at every step of the American oil and gas business, all the while begging for help from other nations. Indeed, he’s fulfilling his campaign promises to destroy American oil and gas. 

One more thought, as history teaches us… Energy is always a leading indicator of inflation. If we don’t get our arms around this energy crisis, we will never slow down inflation.

But it appears our president and his party disagree with this, or else, simply stated, they don’t care.

Or maybe they want these high prices?

Doesn’t it seem like just yesterday gasoline was under $2 a gallon back home… and it’s over $5 across most of the nation…

Rising energy prices add inflationary pressure to everything. It’s like a game of dominoes. When the diesel fuel powering our 18-wheelers are costing truckers 80% more than it did last year, they are going to have to raise their rates to compensate. When businesses are paying 30%more for their gas utilities, they are going to have to raise their prices to make up the difference. And Kansans – already paying more just to get to the store – are continually finding that what money they have left is getting them less and less every week.

You do not fix a supply and demand problem of this nature with price controls or artificial subsidies.

This isn’t complicated, you can fix it by decreasing demand, or increasing supply. Demand is not decreasing, which is why we need this regulation holiday in order to set American energy free!

On some level the Administration knows this, hence their knee jerk decision to release one million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve per day – reportedly without initially coordinating in any meaningful way with our partners overseas. Obviously one million barrels a day won’t cut it, in 2021 the United States alone consumed roughly 19.78 million barrels of oil a day. This release is a drop in the bucket.

The Administration knows that the SPR releases are purely cosmetic, to try to convince the American people that they have solutions while they run off to beg foreign dictators and terrorists to produce more oil. Instead of looking within, instead of creating American jobs producing the cleanest fuel in the world, they continue their full-frontal assault on American production and seek to enrich our enemies like Venezuela and Iran.

But there has been a lot of talk on the left that they are not interfering with oil and gas production in the United States. These claims are simply untrue. On the campaign trail President Biden swore to end leasing of oil and gas production on Federal lands, and his climate czar recently said the Administration, quote, “remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands.” Most Presidents brag when they fulfill a campaign promise, but apparently not when the results are this bad.

It is hard to imagine that this is not all by design. This Administration is getting exactly what they want. In the President’s own words, the world is currently going through an “incredible transition” and he thinks we will, quote, “be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over.”

Well, the obvious question then is, when will it be over? The Department of Energy has estimated that demand for oil and gas will increase through 2050. That is a simple fact. Yet we have a President who is perfectly willing to inflict pain on the people who elected him to force climate policies and ignore the economic reality that the American people are facing.

Why else would he propose a budget that gets rid of key tax provisions for the oil and gas industry? Why else would he promote policies that will make it more difficult and more expensive to drill? Does anyone think that these policies are going to help the American people?

Let’s talk about the stream of bad policies causing the crippling uncertainty that is making American producers hesitant to increase drilling.

Last November, the EPA started the process for updating methane regulations. While the proposed rule they put forward was criminally devoid of details, their intent was clear: an increase in costly regulations that will harm the oil and natural gas industry, run small producers out of business, and further increase energy costs.

On February 18th, by a completely partisan vote, FERC issued and made immediately effective two new policy statements that would have had disastrous implications for pipeline development in the US. Their off-the-deep-end proposal would have potentially put pipeline operators on the hook for mitigating the emissions of the end user of the product they transport. In other words, to get approval to build a pipeline, operators could have been forced to develop, and pay for, a way to mitigate the emissions caused by Americans driving to work every day. Thankfully, in the face of fierce outcry from opponents on both sides of the aisle they have temporarily pulled these changes back for further consideration. Though, that likely has more to do with the upcoming re-nomination process for FERC Chairman Glick than it does with good energy policy.

 On March 21st, the SEC followed suit and proposed a rule that would require companies to disclose climate emission data including greenhouse gas emissions caused by their suppliers and customers.

This could require companies to calculate and disclose the emissions for how everyday Americans use their products, all in an effort to make doing business with American oil and gas producers seem riskier and less deserving of financing. 

And finally, an issue that is top of mind to my producers in Kansas right now, the Fish and Wildlife Service looks poised to list the Lesser Prairie Chicken as a threatened species. This is despite the incredible work being done by conservationists that have made the Lesser Prairie Chicken better protected now than ever. If the Fish and Wildlife Service goes through with this classification it would have serious consequences for oil and gas producers in Kansas and severely limit their ability to increase production.

Mr./Madam President, once again let me state, these reasons and more are why I am here today to ask for unanimous consent to pass the Gas Prices Relief Act which would bar any Federal agency from finalizing any rule or regulation that would make it harder to produce American fuels. Our legislation would send the right signal to American producers and investors, it would show them that Congress sees the problem and are ready to address it. It would set us on course to bring down prices at the pump by getting out of the way of American production and allowing them to power the world without more needlessly restrictive rules and regulations. Good energy policy will fix the current crisis, not more reckless spending.

Thank you Madam President. I’d now like to turn it over to the Senator from Montana for his thoughts on the record gas prices we are facing and the need to pass my Gas Price Relief Act.

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