EXCLUSIVE: MO AG Eric Schmitt Blasts Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Over Skyrocketing Diesel Prices
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt isn’t shy about taking on the Biden Administration and its harmful policies. He’s battled the administration in court over vaccine mandates and its efforts to sidestep the Trump Era Remain in Mexico policy. More recently, Schmitt challenged the administration over the proposed “Disinformation Governance Board.”
If the Biden Administration continues to trample on our free speech rights under the false banner of “disinformation,” on behalf of the citizens of the State of Missouri, I will fight this government overreach every single step of the way. The future of our Republic is at stake. pic.twitter.com/W5fNFaXoIj
— Eric Schmitt (@Eric_Schmitt) April 29, 2022
On Tuesday, Schmitt once again took aim at the administration, this time, sounding the alarm over the skyrocketing price of diesel fuel.
In a letter directed to U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, Schmitt outlined the recent history of diesel prices along with the negative impact the Biden administration’s policies have had on those prices.
Let us review, the primary driver of these increasing costs has been the decrease in supply of diesel caused by a reduction in the amount of oil being refined into diesel. This reduction in oil refining to diesel is the result of the constant attack on fossil fuels from Washington D.C. and the Biden Administration’s Department of Energy. Just last week, the Administration announced its plan to only potentially allow new oil leases in the Gulf of Mexico completely prohibiting leases in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Artic Oceans. This is a major shift in the wrong direction from President Trump’s plan that made America energy independent.
With the war on fossil fuels taking shape through threats of tougher emission standards, a mountain of regulations on refineries, and incentives to move to “clean energy,” oil companies cannot afford to keep refineries running. Refining levels and capacity continue to drop in the United States. U.S. refineries now produce fewer than 18 million barrels per day, down more than one million barrels since the start of the COVID pandemic. By comparison, though, China is becoming the leading oil refiner in the world by continuing to increase their refining capacities – refining as many as 20 million barrels of oil per day by 2025.
Not only has a reduction in the diesel supply caused diesel prices to increase, but it also has put America at great risk. This reduction in the supply of diesel fuel has reached a point where just one well-placed hurricane could result in a diesel fuel shortage that fails to meet the demands needed to keep the economy moving. If farmers do not have fuel, then crops and livestock will not make it to market, creating a food shortage. If truckers do not have fuel for their rigs, then they cannot move an untold number of products across the country. The Biden Administration’s policies created supply-chain issues, but the diesel shortage could bring the supply chain to a halt.
To add insult to injury, the ideas being pushed by the Department of Energy to move machinery from diesel-powered to electric-powered is pure fantasy given the current state of battery and electrification technology. An August 2021 article from the Energy News Network explains this clearly: “Modern agriculture depends on a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles and machinery, from pickup trucks and small utility vehicles to massive tractors and combines that can weigh from a few tons up to as much as 15 tons, plus attachments. All that weight, along with dawn-to-dusk workdays and multiple worksites, adds to the challenges of electrification.”
More importantly, Schmitt detailed the extraordinary danger this presents to our economic stability, both in Missouri and as a nation.
You see, the price of diesel “out here” matters. In the heartland of America, diesel is the source of energy needed to keep the wheels of commerce turning both locally and nationally. Diesel fuel is used in the vast majority of farming machinery. Diesel is needed for tilling the land. Diesel is needed for planting crops. Diesel is needed to harvest the crops. Diesel is needed to feed livestock. Diesel is needed to irrigate the fields. Missouri provides soybeans, cattle, cotton, rice, wheat, potatoes, corn, and many more products for our country. In fact, we have one of the most diverse agricultural footprints in the world. Every one of these products has become more expensive to produce because of the increase in diesel prices used by farmers, not to mention also by the over-the-road truckers who help transport these goods to market.
Moreover, the rising cost of diesel fuel is driving the unbearable and unsustainable rise in inflation. The cost of diesel fuel increases the cost of food production. The cost of diesel fuel has led to trucking companies levying fuel surcharges on customers as they transport their goods across the states. The cost of diesel fuel has even led to fewer truck drivers because driving loads has become less profitable. So with a reduction in truckers available, the cost of shipping increases even more – but it is all caused by the rising price of diesel. Diesel cost is driving inflation.
To suggest that farmers and other heavy equipment operators should “just” buy electric vehicles and equipment is downright silly. It demonstrates a complete lack of understanding of how real America works. Batteries provide only 15% of the energy as diesel, so batteries would have to be charged numerous times throughout the day as farmers work their fields or as truckers traverse the nation. Each time the batteries have to be recharged, time’s a wastin’ and time is money.
Will the administration take heed of these warnings? There’s been no indication thus far that they will. Rather, they appear hellbent on pursuing destructive energy policies — to the country’s peril.
The full text of the letter can be found below:
2022.7.5.Ltr.dept of Energy by Susie Moore on Scribd