Former mayor and congressman Lou Barletta, leading Republican candidate for governor of Pennsylvania, today issued the following statement regarding President Joe Biden’s announcement that the United States will no longer import Russian oil:
“Banning the importation of Russian oil is a welcome, but overdue, announcement from President Biden, but it should only be the first step toward addressing our energy situation. Now the president should unleash our domestic production and restore the energy independence we had achieved under President Trump for the first time in 70 years.
“The Biden administration’s advice to Americans struggling with rising energy prices – which took hold before Russa invaded Ukraine – has been to switch to electric cars. This is like telling homeless people to just buy a house. If people can’t afford to fill their gas tanks, how will they buy electric vehicles, which sell new for an average of over $50,000?
“The truth is that Biden attacked our energy industries from the first day he took office because it was always part of his agenda, as dictated to him by the extreme environmental left, but now he doesn’t want to deal with the predictable consequences. We see steadily rising fuel prices, which, again, began before Russia attacked Ukraine, and the resulting impact on inflation. This hurts everyday Pennsylvanians as they struggle to meet their family budgets.
“Biden has now gone gas-can-in-hand to countries that are hostile to our interests to beg them to increase their production. He’s turning to Venezuela, Iran, and OPEC for help, again off shoring our energy production to other countries, an act which undermines his own stated goal of helping the environment. These countries cannot be trusted to produce petroleum products as cleanly and efficiently as we can, so Biden’s plans won’t help the environment at all.
“This is almost an exact parallel to what we’ve seen here in Pennsylvania from Josh Shapiro, the likely Democratic candidate for governor. Shapiro gave legal approval to the Commonwealth’s entry into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multi-state carbon cap-and-trade scheme which is an assault on our own energy producers. This will have the effect of shipping our energy production and jobs to neighboring states which are not part of the pact, meaning there won’t be any improvement in the environment anyway.
“Pennsylvania’s purposeful knee capping of our own energy industries is an act of self-harm, which also feeds the national problem. Pennsylvania could be a leader in energy production, which would help America drop its reliance on foreign sources of oil once again. But Shapiro won’t allow it because, like Biden, he is under the thumb of the radical environmentalist lobby.
“When I’m governor, we will unleash Pennsylvania’s energy resources and help our country achieve energy independence once again. If Shapiro is let near the governor’s office, he will just be a miniature version of Joe Biden.”