Diesel shortage could make inflation worse

Published 9:33 am Wednesday, November 2, 2022

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By Rep. Jerry Carl

A few days ago, the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the U.S. has just a 25-day supply of reserve diesel fuel, which is the lowest amount we’ve seen in at least 14 years. This amount is unacceptably low and could cause huge issues for our nation’s supply chains and for people reliant on heating oil to heat their homes this winter.

For the last two years, we’ve all been paying more and more for fuel at the pump, and we are all dealing with the impacts of the highest inflation in over four decades. These issues could all be made even worse if we do not get our diesel fuel reserves back to acceptable levels. It may seem like diesel fuel is not that important to your daily life, but nearly everything you eat, wear, and use everyday gets delivered by 18-wheelers, trains, and ships which rely on diesel fuel. If transporters can’t deliver basic goods, or have to pay significantly more for diesel fuel, it directly impacts every single one of us.

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The White House has publicly said they are exploring all options to replenish our reserves. While this is good, the Administration must first end its regulatory assault on our energy producers so they can do their job without interference from bureaucrats in Washington. One of the first things President Biden did in office was severely cripple our producers’ ability to do their job, and we’ve all been fighting back against this since day one.

This is why bills like my Unleashing American Energy Act are so important. My bill would require a minimum of two oil and gas lease sales a year in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Alaska Region of the Outer Continental Shelf (this would bring us back to Trump-era levels). It would also prohibit future moratoriums or delays on oil and gas leasing. This bill would not totally solve all our energy problems immediately, but it would help lower energy prices while ensuring we have the ability to produce enough energy to meet our needs right here at home.

America is blessed with so many natural resources, and we produce cleaner energy than any other country in the world. There’s absolutely no reason why we should force ourselves to rely on others to produce energy for us or put ourselves in a position where we are running dangerously low on fuel reserves. This threatens our way of life and our national security, and we cannot allow it to continue. The world is a chaotic place, and recent news that Russia is re-imposing its blockade on Ukraine in an effort to cut off critical resources from Ukrainians is further proof just how important it is for America to be self-sufficient and not rely on others to supply our needs.

We can never let America be put in this kind of position, so I’ll continue fighting this fight until we fully unleash American energy, end the regulatory assault on our producers, and replenish our strategic reserves.