June 19, 2024

We must unleash the full potential of American energy production

By Mariannette Miller-Meeks

President Biden promised economic stability and support for middle-class Americans when he took office. His administration’s goal of building the economy from the bottom up and the middle out has failed the very people his strategy was aimed to help the most. As we recover from record inflation, the most vulnerable Americans are still in dire need of help to alleviate the pressing issue of skyrocketing prices on multiple fronts. It’s imperative that our government does everything in its power to lower prices for Americans, and that starts with unleashing the full potential of American energy production.

The consequences of high energy costs are far-reaching, particularly for working-class families who find themselves grappling with the rising cost of living. As gas prices linger almost $2 higher than they were when President Biden took office, many families are left to make difficult choices between essentials like groceries and rent. The relationship between energy policy and the price of goods is undeniable as American companies rely heavily on having affordable energy for both manufacturing and transportation. In fact, a major component of food costs is energy, which affects average Americans every day with much higher food prices. With gas prices nearly doubling in recent years, American companies of all sizes are left with no choice but to raise the prices of the goods they produce to survive financially. With an abundance of energy resources on American soil, hardworking Americans should never be forced to make tough financial decisions on their most basic needs.

As President Biden touts “Bidenomics” as a massive success and takes a victory lap for lowering inflation, it’s crucial that Congress does not forget the millions of Americans who are still struggling to make ends meet. Despite reduced inflation, prices are still over 20% higher than when he took office, and interest rates are at their highest in over two decades during his presidency. It’s up to Congress to keep the pressure on President Biden by passing legislation that directly addresses the core issue: the affordability of everyday essentials. This includes a strategic approach to energy policy, one that prioritizes the reduction of energy costs to lower production expenses and consequently make goods more affordable.

H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, passed in bipartisan fashion in the House of Representatives earlier this year. This legislation was a major step in the right direction to streamline energy production while supporting and protecting our critical energy producers. In the coming months, Congress must continue to focus on tangible energy solutions that translate into real relief for Americans. As our nation navigates through this period of recovery from the pandemic and record inflation, it is paramount that steps are taken to ensure that the burden of high prices is not disproportionately felt by those least able to endure its consequences.

Mariannette Miller-Meeks currently represents Iowa’s First District in the United States House of Representatives.