As Ukraine Crisis Deepens, Democrats' Energy Agenda Weakens America

Barely a year into Joe Biden’s presidency, his administration has presided over two of the greatest foreign policy disasters in modern U.S. history.

His botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, which led to the unnecessary deaths of 13 Americans, emboldened Vladimir Putin as he planned his terrible invasion of Ukraine. As a result, countless Ukrainians are dying in the streets of their own country as they defend themselves from Russia’s onslaught.

The loss of life in Ukraine was completely avoidable, as were the deaths of our soldiers in Afghanistan. They are a direct result of Joe Biden’s weak and feckless foreign policy. He’s now slowly implementing sanctions against Russia that should have been developed and ready months ago. His tepid and overdue response will have a direct impact on all of us.

Costs were already soaring for gas, food, and other necessities, and oil prices are already rising well above $100 a barrel. The violence in Ukraine that Biden failed to take effective action to deter will only make things worse.

This is a problem compounded by Biden’s decision to gut America’s domestic energy production, including his halting of the Keystone XL Pipeline. All the while, my opponent, Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, has enabled every single one of Biden’s failures that have driven up inflation, caused energy prices to soar, and made life unaffordable for countless working Americans.

Nevada gas prices are well above those of almost every other state, reaching higher than $4 a gallon. Where I live in Washoe County, some gas stations are charging over $4.60. But it gets worse, these high prices drive inflation, forcing the costs of other goods to go up. Grocery store runs, electric bills, even taking one’s children to school will become untenable as prices increase. Working families simply can’t afford this.

Cortez Masto knows these problems, which are a direct result of her and her party’s failed leadership, won’t help her reelection chances. But instead of taking action to address rising costs, she desperately decided to support a federal gas tax holiday, only to later find out her proposal would save exactly $0 for Nevada families. Despite having served two terms as the state’s attorney general, she appeared completely unaware of a Nevada law that increases state gas taxes for every decrease that happens at the federal level.

But it's not just her lack of understanding of our state’s laws that is troubling — it’s also the fact this gas tax plan was nothing more than a cynical attempt to hide her record of supporting Joe Biden and the Democrats' assault on our domestic energy industry.

Cortez Masto consistently opposed the Keystone XL Pipeline, despite its potential to jumpstart energy production while creating thousands of good-paying American jobs. She also opposed drilling on federal lands, opposed expanding natural gas, and refused to prevent a ban on fracking.

All of these measures had tremendous potential to lower costs on American families, but she opposed them in the name of a green agenda that runs contradictory to her politically driven gas tax stunt.

These domestic energy resources are exactly what America needs to not only reduce prices for the American people but also to combat the threat of Putin’s Russia in the long term. The United States imports nearly 600,000 barrels of oil a day from Russia. The Keystone XL Pipeline alone would more than make up the difference of that. Former President Donald Trump made America a net-energy exporter, but now, as a direct result of Biden’s mismanagement, America is on track to be a net importer this year.

Relying on Russian energy resources is this administration’s choice. Reducing our need for them is a national security and economic imperative. We have the tools to achieve this goal, but instead of seeking it, Biden and Cortez Masto have undermined our ability to produce and export our own fuel. This forces not only us but also NATO countries like Germany to continue to rely on Russia, weakening our ability to stand up to Putin’s aggression.

When I am elected to the Senate, I will fight to make sure America does everything possible to take advantage of our domestic energy resources. I’ll support the Keystone XL Pipeline and the expansion of oil and natural gas exploration so we can restore our production to where it was under Trump. America should be a net energy exporter, and there’s no reason why we can’t ensure that it is. The only people stopping us are the failed politicians currently in office.

The full impact of the crisis in Ukraine on our country is yet to be fully felt. Even before the invasion started, families were struggling to afford basic goods across Nevada and the United States, and we can’t forget that failed leadership from feckless Democrats such as Joe Biden and Catherine Cortez Masto put us in this position. They have a chance to lessen the pain of the American people, but they still refuse to act. If we’re going to make our country more affordable for working families and safer from threats like Russia, we need energy independence. Read the Original OpEd HERE.