Democrats Silent On US Energy Independence Amid Ukraine Crisis

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LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 28: Oil pumpjacks operate in the Inglewood Oil Field on January 28, 2022 in Los Angeles, California. The Los Angeles City Council voted to ban new oil and gas drilling as well as evaluating how to decommission existing wells in the city following years of complaints from residents. Thousands of Angelenos reside in close proximity to the more than 5,200 gas and oil wells in the city and many have complained about negative health consequences. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

When asked about the necessity of U.S. energy independence in light of the energy market volatility induced by the Ukraine conflict, Democrats and environmental groups remained silent.

Several Democratic leaders in the House and Senate who control committees or subcommittees governing energy policy declined to comment on Friday when questioned about the necessity of boosting U.S. energy independence. In addition, when asked about the matter, five major environmental organizations decided to ignore it or remained mute.

According to official forecasts, the United States will revert to being a net importer of crude oil in 2022 during the Biden administration. In 2019, the country became a net exporter of total energy, including coal and natural gas, and a net oil exporter in 2020.

In light of rising oil and gasoline costs, California Rep. Ro Khanna, the chairman of the House Oversight energy subcommittee, published a letter with the DCNF that he signed with other congressional Democrats asking President Joe Biden to draw the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The letter urged the administration to collaborate with international manufacturers to increase output, but it made no mention of home production or energy security.

Since taking office in January 2021, Biden has taken a number of steps to limit fossil fuel production, including opposing the Keystone XL oil pipeline, abandoning an oil drilling project in Alaska, remaining silent on a court ruling prohibiting an offshore drilling lease in the Gulf of Mexico, attempting to ban new drilling leases on federal lands, and making it more difficult for utilities to get approval for natural gas projects.

Democrats and environmentalists have campaigned for a quick transition to renewables, promoting solar and wind energy technologies.