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Here Are Some Serious Energy Policy Questions For 2024’s GOP Candidates


While every issue is on the ballot in 2024, energy stands out.

From their first day in office, the Biden administration has launched an all-out assault on the American economy, culture and national security and foreign relations with its unrelenting crusade against domestic energy production. Energy undergirds all the aforementioned.

Inexpensive, abundant reliable energy built our economy and provides for our national defense. Cheap gas and working electricity allow families to live in dignity with comfort and convenience.

The upcoming Republican Presidential Debate is a time for the candidates to show their energy chops. Debate questions are mostly written to make good TV and good sound bites.

For sure, we will hear titillating questions about social justice and gun control, and hot-button questions about funding the war in Ukraine or January 6th, but in an ideal world we would have an entire debate dedicated to in-depth, serious specific energy issues.

If my organization were to sponsor such a debate, here are some of the questions I would ask.

We hear a lot about the “need to transition” to alternative energy. Do you think America needs to transition away from the sources of energy that built our country?

China controls around 90% of the rare earth element market, and these materials are needed for all high tech and military equipment. America has access to these natural resources, but the Biden Administration has prohibited their extraction. Would you support the opening of mining operations across America, including in culturally sensitive areas, to weaken China’s market dominance?

Russia has used natural gas to threaten our European allies, yet America could produce enough natural gas for us and them. Do you support an infrastructure to produce, transport and ship liquefied natural gas LNG to our allies around the world?

Despite less than 1 in 10 Americans calling it a pressing issue, Joe Biden has said climate change is the greatest threat we face and has placed it at the forefront of every federal agency. How serious of a threat is climate change? What priority would your administration give climate change?

Every state, including California and Texas, that has pushed for green energy mandates has seen a rising cost of electricity and a less reliable grid. Do you support wind and solar mandates at the federal level? Would you administration support subsidies for these emerging industries?

The burning of coal is needed to make cement, steel, plastic and rubber, and innumerable other materials. If we do not burn coal in America to make these products, then we must purchase them from overseas specifically from China. Do you believe coal is a necessary component of American manufacturing?

Green groups have annual operating budgets of billions of dollars from undisclosed sources. In 2020 the Trump Department of Justice (DOJ) announced an investigation into foreign funding of these groups. As president, would you support an investigation into the foreign funding, particularly Russian and Chinese, of American environmental groups?

Many banks and Wall Street financial institutions refuse to lend to the fossil fuel industry. Is this discrimination? Do you support the right of banks to refuse lending to industries based on political reasons?

I could write a book (and perhaps I should) on the role government should play in the fossil fuel industry.

So much of the industry’s success depends on cooperation from federal agencies, and when green ideologues get power, they use it ruthlessly. Biden has filled the Department of Interior and Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency with green activists. We are witnessing the result: expensive goods, expensive gas, expensive food, a stronger China, a richer Russia an unstable electric grid. When does the good part of going green kick in? When will it start to work?

The next president’s energy policy should be a simple one: get out of the way. In 2019, we enjoyed record energy production, low prices, more jobs and revenue to the Treasury, and we even cut emissions. All of this without a “mandate” from DC. We did not hear about “greed” or “profiteering.”

We did not see Congress haul oil CEOs before committee accusing them of “ripping off the American people.” Curiously the energy industry, big oil, whatever you want to call them, when they had the cooperation of the president and the government, produced more for less. It was a marvel of the free markets at work.

We can return to better days, cheaper goods, less inflation, but the next president needs the political will not just to reverse but uproot the Biden administration’s war on energy.

“Drill baby drill” is a slogan easy to say on the campaign trail, but in this campaign the American people must see which candidates are just talk and which actually have a serious energy policy and the political will to implement it.

Daniel Turner is the founder and executive director of Power The Future, a national nonprofit organization that advocates for American energy jobs. Twitter: @DanielTurnerPTF

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.


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