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Joni Ernst: Biden’s inflation and energy costs are crushing Iowans. There’s a better way.

We see it at the grocery store. We see it at the gas pump. We see it in our electric bills every month. Inflation is crushing Iowa families and small businesses.

This week, the Labor Department released June’s consumer price index report, showing that inflation is surging at the fastest rate in 41 years—a staggering 9.1%, beating out even the dire expectations that economists had warned ahead of time. It’s yet another data point showing that under President Biden and the Democrats, Iowans spend more and get less. Life is becoming simply unaffordable.

Prices at the pump have nearly doubled since Biden’s first day in office when he started signing executive orders to turn off American energy supplies. Iowans are hurting so bad, some are resorting to pawn shops to exchange household items for gas money just to fill up their tanks. Home electricity prices have increased more than 10 percent since just last summer.

But, what’s worse than these expensive energy bills? Having no power at all. Most of the nation is currently in danger of experiencing power outages due to energy shortages. And the reality is, these power outages—or “Biden Blackouts”—pose a bigger problem than just the inconvenience of being uncomfortably warm or unable to watch TV for a few hours, or possibly days. Extended outages could be a matter of life or death for many folks who depend upon electronic medical devices or temperature-sensitive medicines.

The ongoing closure of traditional power plants is reducing our capacity to supply enough electricity for millions of homes, while renewables are not yet producing enough energy on their own to make up the difference. Just this year, the Biden administration has reduced domestic oil and gas leasing, created regulatory barriers for building pipelines, and taken administrative actions that put hundreds of solar energy projects across the U.S. on hold. We can’t just turn off the power sources we depend upon without having reliable, abundant, and affordable alternatives readily available.

Proponents of the Green New Deal portray themselves as heroes, but the truth is that their policies are making us more dependent on foreign adversaries like Communist China for some energy products in a post-carbon economy than we are on OPEC for petroleum today. President Biden’s own Energy Department admits that “U.S. decarbonization goals are reliant on both Chinese firms and the Chinese government.”

The president’s plan so far seems to be begging OPEC to pump more oil; sending our nation’s strategic oil reserves to China; and subsidizing China’s market in slave and child labor. But just like President Biden’s other policies, this radical agenda is creating problems, not solving them.

The Democrats’ policies are creating a greater dependency on foreign adversaries like China and Russia; putting the U.S. in a position where we are relying on child and forced slave labor; creating higher costs for our families and small businesses; and threatening energy shortages and blackouts.

There’s a better way, folks.

Our energy policies are in our control; we have a choice. Instead of going down the road of this radical green agenda, let’s tap into our abundant supply of affordable energy right here in Iowa, and all across America, and let’s lower prices for Iowa families and small businesses.

Joni Ernst, a native of Red Oak and a combat veteran, represents Iowa in the United States Senate.