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Press Release Published: May 23, 2024

Comer Opens Hearing with DOE Secretary Jennifer Granholm

WASHINGTON— House Committee on Oversight and Accountability Chairman James Comer (R-Ky.) delivered opening remarks at today’s hearing titled “Oversight of the U.S. Department of Energy.” In his remarks, Chairman Comer blasted Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Jennifer Granholm and the Biden Administration for pursuing Green New Deal energy policies that have jeopardized economic opportunities, threatened U.S. energy security and national security, raised energy costs, and hurt American consumers and businesses. In addition, he highlighted that the Committee today has released a report detailing the harms Biden Administration energy policies have inflicted on all Americans. Instead of holding the Biden Administration accountable for its disastrous energy policies, he emphasized Committee Democrats only continue to demonize America’s leading energy producers. He stressed the Committee will work to hold DOE Secretary Granholm and the Biden Administration accountable for its radical climate agenda.  

Below are Chairman Comer’s remarks as prepared for delivery.

Thank you, Secretary Granholm for appearing today before the Committee on Oversight and Accountability.

We are glad that you have returned safely after traveling to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates last week.

I hope you were well-received abroad, but I would be dismayed if the purpose of your trip was to urge these foreign nations to boost their output of fossil-fuels.

Especially while President Biden and his Administration, including you as the Secretary of the Department of Energy, have taken several actions to make the United States less energy independent, including by trying to shut down American fossil-fuel production.

President Biden and the Secretary should not be prioritizing foreign energy over American energy when we have the natural resources and producers to be energy independent.

Unfortunately, the Biden Administration has pursued policies that have jeopardized economic opportunities, threatened U.S. energy security and national security, raised energy costs on Americans, and hurt American small businesses.

Today marks the Committee’s fifteenth hearing at the full and subcommittee level during the 118th Congress specifically related to the Biden Administration’s American-energy policies and burdensome regulations.

Our oversight hearings have examined a range of topics including energy efficiency standards, critical minerals, nuclear energy, and the Administration’s stupefying ban on new Liquified Natural Gas export permits to non-free trade agreement countries.

Decisions like the Department’s ban on new Liquified Natural Gas export permits are just the most recent example of how the Department has jeopardized our energy security, jobs and producers.

According to the Center for LNG, increasing LNG exports provides great economic benefits like bolstering labor incomes and lowering the costs of imported goods, thereby protecting consumers from inflation.

Further, we know that increased U.S. LNG sent to Europe will safeguard the continent from reliance on Russian gas.

Rather than ask questions about the consequences of the LNG ban or other Administration policies, however, today we will likely hear Committee Democrats demonize U.S. oil and gas producers. 

While Democrats politicize energy and target American producers, average national gasoline prices surged on President Biden’s watch to an all-time high, with the average national price of gas reaching more than five dollars in the summer of 2022.

Congressional Republicans share a different vision for America’s energy future. 

On March 30, 2023, the Republican-majority House passed H.R. 1, the Lower Energy Costs Act, which would reform the permitting process, lower prices for consumers, and help restore U.S. energy leadership for the world.

And today, the Committee has released a report detailing the harms Biden Administration policies have inflicted on American consumers and the U.S. economy, which I will enter into the record with unanimous consent.

Without objection so ordered

It’s undeniable that gas prices are higher under the Biden Administration, with gas prices surging to over five dollars nationally in 2022 as a result of Biden Administration policies.

And as the Biden Administration rapidly overloads our grid with its electrification-at-all-costs push, American consumers face skyrocketing electricity prices.

Electricity prices have risen faster than the pace of inflation and more so than any other commodity.

Our Committee’s work in the 118th Congress has ranged from the Department’s LNG ban, elimination of consumer choices for home appliances, historic depletion of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and, of course, the waste of taxpayer dollars on the Secretary’s now-famous—and disastrous—four-day summer 2023 electric vehicle road trip.

This work has expanded to include the Committee’s government-wide investigation into the Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing efforts to target, influence, and undermine every sector and community in the United States, including the energy sector.

But the Biden Administration’s rhetoric on climate change and adoption of radical Green-New-Deal policies, specifically its electric vehicle mandates, play directly into China’s hands.

Committee Republicans will continue to conduct oversight of government waste, fraud, and abuse.

We will not stand by silently as the Biden Administration subverts America’s energy independence and demonizes this critical