Oversight Republicans accuse Biden admin of not taking skyrocketing fuel and energy prices crisis ‘seriously’

House lawmakers investigate role oil and gas companies played in concealing information about impact on climate change

FIRST ON FOX: Republicans on the House Oversight Committee on Thursday accused the Biden administration of not taking U.S. oil and gas shortages "seriously." 

In a letter to U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Ranking Member Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., and Rep. Fred Keller, R-Penn., demanded answers on how the Biden administration intends to address the surge in oil and gas prices as the winter month’s loom. 


US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm speaks during the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) General Conference, September 20, 2021.  ((Photo by JOE KLAMAR / AFP) (Photo by JOE KLAMAR/AFP via Getty Images) / Getty Images)

"Both crude oil and natural gas have hit a seven-year high, while consumers are paying nearly a dollar more for gasoline than they did in 2020," the congressmen wrote. "Increased production demand, low energy stockpiles, increased foreign energy demand, and rampant government spending have all contributed to benchmark prices."

The letter, led by Keller, said that Americans can expect to see heating bills increase by as much as 54% this winter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. 

GOP oversight committee lawmakers additionally suggested that the crisis hitting the energy sector is "at odds" with the administration’s push for a "carbon pollution-free electricity sector no later than 2035," along with "net-zero emissions, economy-wide, by no later than 2050."

"Committee Republicans are concerned that the Biden Administration is not taking this crisis seriously," the letter read.

Rep. James Comer, R-Ky., June 29, 2021.  (Photo by Caroline Brehman/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)

While Democrats on the Hill and the Biden administration have pushed for increased reliance on clean energy like wind and solar, Republicans remained concerned by the continued reliance on fossil fuels -- which the letter noted that as of 2017 accounted for 80 percent of US energy consumption. 


The U.S. Energy Information Association reported a 60% reliance on fossil fuels in 2020, with nuclear energy making up 20% of U.S. energy consumption and renewable energy sources accounting for another 20. 

But the lawmakers argued it could cost Americans on average $11,300 per year through 2050 to overhaul the U.S. energy sector.

"We simply cannot abandon the resources that have allowed for reliable and affordable energy sources for all Americans," the letter read. "We urge you to work with all domestic suppliers—including those who produce fossil fuel-driven, sustainable, and renewable energy—to promote American energy independence in the face of OPEC+ supply manipulation and the impending European energy crisis."

The letter to Granholm comes as the House Oversight Committee prepares a lengthy investigation Thursday into whether oil and gas companies misled the public on the threat they posed to climate change. 

ExxonMobil Baton Rouge Refinery in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. May 15, 2021.  (REUTERS/Kathleen Flynn/File Photo / Reuters Photos)


Rep. Ro Khanna, D-Calif., said the hearings would be modeled after the 1990’s Tobacco probe that forced the companies to reveal that they withheld health information from the public, reported Reuters. 

The Silicon Valley Democrat said the investigation will look into whether companies like Exxon Mobil Corp., Chevron Corp. and Shell denied their role in climate change. 

Thursday’s hearings are expected to be politically divided.