OPINION — If Americans can come together across the aisle to agree on anything, it’s that the Biden administration’s agenda has been disastrous for Americans. With no end in sight to price hikes causing financial turmoil for so many families, it’s becoming more and more clear every day that we must reverse course.
For once, Congress is considering a simple, common-sense solution to ease the burden of inflation — a single-sentence bill that can unleash the power of the free market, create good-paying jobs, and put Americans hard-earned dollars back into their pockets. It all has to do with energy.
The average American rarely thinks about access to energy unless the power unexpectedly goes out, or—as is becoming increasingly common—they can’t afford to fill up their gas tank. But no part of our lives would be possible without it. Though there are many reasons for inflation and economic instability, energy is the crux of the issue.
It’s about more than just juice for our smartphone scrolling sessions and gas for our cars. Electricity powers the banks, hospitals, schools, warehouses, stores, data centers, dispatch centers, and many more societal institutions that our everyday lives revolve around. If the price of energy goes up, the price of literally everything goes up along with it, and the consequences are painful for the American people.
This is a stark comparison to 2019 when pro-energy, pro-business policies saved the average household $2,500 a year and America was a leader on the world stage. The Biden administration’s policies, on the other hand, have resulted in Americans paying over $5,200 a year in higher costs. According to the most recent data available, a third of households reported difficulty affording energy costs — in 2018, even before prices had shot through the roof — and 32% of Americans have paid a utility bill late in the past six months. We have yet to meet anyone who wouldn’t like to have those dollars back.
That’s why the Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act is the right next step for every American. Buried in the deceitfully named "Inflation Reduction Act" was the first-ever tax on methane (natural gas) emissions. Burying a tax on natural gas in a bill advertised to reduce inflation isn’t just doublespeak — it’s a lie to the American people.
In order to actually lower costs and inflation for American families, we must repeal burdensome regulation, secure supply chains, and unleash American energy. The Natural Gas Tax Repeal Act stands up for American consumers by striking the president’s new natural gas tax that will drive up the cost of all energy bills and make inflation even worse. The left is quick to argue that taxing methane is essential to the fight against climate change. However, that conveniently ignores the fact that American producers do it more responsibly, efficiently, and safer than any other oil and gas producer in the world. Methane emissions attributed to the oil and gas sector have dropped by 14 percent, while production has increased by over 50 percent.
This progress in emissions reduction is not because of regulations and taxes from Washington, but because companies are already highly motivated to capture methane to the best of their ability by the market. This is why companies voluntarily invest millions in the development of new technologies and innovation that can better detect or reduce methane emissions. This program will instead reduce the available capital companies will have on hand to voluntarily invest in these projects and instead direct that money to an EPA bureaucracy that will inevitably dilute the spend and slow that pace of progress.
We should all want the U.S. to remain the global leader in innovation, conservation, and delivery of affordable, reliable energy to consumers around the world. Repealing ill-conceived taxes on the energy we all need to survive is a simple, essential solution.
To end inflation, fight poverty, strengthen our nation, and secure a bright future for America, we need to support American oil and gas and repeal President Biden’s natural gas tax.
Jason Isaac co-wrote this opinion piece.
Republican August Pfluger represents Texas' 11th District of Texas, which includes the Permian Basin—the largest secure supply of oil and gas in the nation.
The Honorable Jason Isaac is director of Life:Powered, a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation to raise America’s energy IQ. A sought-after public speaker and persuasive messaging expert, he previously served four terms in the Texas House of Representatives.