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Sen. Joni Ernst: Energy security is national security

Those who occupy senior positions in the Biden administration are more out of touch with average Americans than ever. At a time when Americans are spending more money on food, heating and filling up their gas tanks, what is the Biden administration’s solution? Buy a $50,000 electric car.
In some parts of the country, Americans are paying up to $6.50 a gallon for gasoline and there appears to be no real relief in sight. High gas prices did not suddenly appear after Russia invaded Ukraine. President Joe Biden’s war on American energy began on his first day in office.
At this moment of geopolitical crisis, the reality is energy security is national security. In 2019, America exported more energy than we imported for the first time since Dwight Eisenhower was president. Yet, Biden seems intent on squandering the legacy.
The Biden administration’s answer is to get everyone driving subsidized, and expensive, electric vehicles (EVs). The president’s myopic focus on EVs and his insistence that they are somehow the “zero emission” solution to conventional energy is disingenuous. In fact, before an EV leaves the showroom, it has already emitted twice the carbon emission of a car fueled by gasoline. The mining and processing of rare earth minerals that are needed to produce an EV battery has significant greenhouse gas emissions. Once in operation, an EV still is not “zero emissions” as the electricity used to power an EV is generated by fossil fuels.
While China focuses on winning the mining and manufacturing race, the Biden administration is working to make America more dependent on EVs. China dominates the supply chain for extraction of rare earth minerals and metals like graphite, cobalt, and lithium required to produce EV batteries. And they do it through slave labor. Is China taking the same steps to ensure that the manufacturing of EV batteries abide by America’s strict environmental and reclamation regulations? Let’s not kid ourselves.
Increasing our dependence on foreign adversaries makes America less safe. I agree with the administration’s decision to ban Russian oil, but the answer is not shifting our energy dependence to Iran, Venezuela, and China; it’s producing energy here at home.
Like all Americans, I want to leave this world a better place for our children. I believe the United States can responsibly use its abundant natural resources while also prioritizing conservation and efficiency. I am a strong supporter of clean energy Americans can produce in their own backyard like ethanol, biodiesel, and renewable diesel. Ethanol is already blended into almost every gallon of gasoline sold in the U.S., and we have abundant supplies at a lower price.
I support an all-of-the-above energy approach that unleashes America’s domestic production and once again secures our energy independence. The U.S. has some of the strictest environmental standards in the world, but handcuffing our domestic producers is the wrong answer.
By increasing the utilization of renewables, like homegrown biofuel, and building on advances in energy efficiency, we have the ability to pursue an energy strategy that creates jobs, protects our national security, reduces our dependence on foreign adversaries, and provides reliable, sustainable and affordable energy.
U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst is a Republican from Iowa. 
Click HERE to read the op-ed as published in The Gazette.