As the average price for a gallon of gas surpasses $5.00 nationwide for the first time ever, American families are being forced to make difficult decisions between filling their gas tank or buying groceries. But instead of developing a plan to increase American production and solve this crisis, President Biden and his administration have a different idea: ensure China makes a profit.
Last week, the Biden administration waived tariffs on solar panel imports from several Southeast Asian countries for two years, effectively neutering an ongoing Department of Commerce (Commerce) investigation into Chinese efforts to circumvent existing tariffs. Beginning in April, Commerce began to explore whether solar cells and modules fabricated in this region utilized parts and components made in China and subsidized by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
This tone-deaf move will do little to ease energy prices for Americans while handing a geopolitical win to Communist China. President Trump established such tariffs in response to the abhorrent labor practices, lack of environmental standards, and market manipulation that led to Chinese control of approximately 80 percent of the solar panels utilized in the U.S. Rolling back solar tariffs is not only a favor to the CCP, but it also means turning our backs on ready and able American workers.
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As the Biden administration seeks to force a rapid shift to deploy and utilize more solar panels, electric vehicles, and wind turbines—it appears they once again lack a comprehensive strategy to shore up the U.S. supply chain and produce and manufacture the critical minerals needed for these technologies.
In 2019, 90 percent of the world’s rare earth metals, alloys, and permanent magnets were produced by China and 85 percent of the world’s rare earth oxides were produced in China. On top of that, the U.S. is 100 percent import-reliant on 11 critical minerals sourced from China and two critical minerals sourced from Russia.
This doesn’t have to be the case. Just two federal leases to mine in Minnesota could have provided enough nickel to manufacture over 200 million electric vehicles and enough cobalt to manufacture 42 million electric vehicles. But instead of utilizing American resources, the Biden administration chose to cancel these leases.
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Biden’s attack on American energy and American resources —which began on his first day in office—has increased our reliance on adversaries like China and made our allies less secure. Xi Jinping couldn’t have designed a better strategy himself.
The American people can’t afford to let China dictate our energy policy. That’s why House Republicans created the Energy, Climate, and Conservation Task Force and the China Accountability Task Force, to help identify and develop policy solutions to promote American energy and jobs while countering the CCP’s malign influence at home and abroad. As members of these Task Forces, we have real solutions that will encourage domestic energy production and promote national security.
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This includes rolling back regulations that make it difficult to produce critical minerals in America. It means stopping policies that discourage the investment needed to produce those resources. And it means investing wisely and looking for innovative ways to utilize and recycle our resources.
We must also hold China accountable by exposing their abhorrent labor practices and ensuring U.S. tax dollars aren’t spent supporting Chinese industries – especially when it isn’t even necessary.
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The utilization of American resources will strengthen our economy, create American jobs, decrease our dependence on adversarial regimes, and provide security to our allies while also helping reduce global emissions.
America is facing an energy crisis, and we can’t afford to rely on China to solve it. While Biden refers to record-high gas prices as an “incredible transition” away from fossil fuels to green energy – it’s clear for leftists that pain at the pump is the point.
Let’s instead consider serious proposals that will provide the American people with affordable, reliable, and clean energy without enriching our adversaries like China.
House Republicans look forward to presenting these solutions to the American people.
Republican Pete Stauber represents Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives.
Republican Mike Gallagher represents Wisconsin’s 8th congressional district in the United States House of Representatives.