Gas in Alabama is more than a dollar higher than it was at this time in 2021. These costs concern Rep. Gary Palmer (R-AL).
“People are getting crushed by the increased cost of not only energy, but everything else- groceries, clothing,” Palmer said. “It’s literally taking people’s disposable income right out of their pockets.”
Palmer is a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee. He said voters will be thinking about those kitchen table issues as they head to the polls in November and he hopes that will lead to the House and Senate flipping in the 2022 midterm election.
“I think, as a majority, we’ve got to lay the framework, lay out the framework for what the country would look like when Republicans are back in control of both the Congress and the White House,” Palmer said. “And I think we can do that.”
One change Palmer would like to see even sooner is for the United States to become more energy independent.
“We have an inexhaustible supply of oil and natural gas. There’s one formation out west that holds 3 trillion barrels of recoverable oil,” Palmer said. “That’s three times what the entire world has used in the last 100 years.”
“We can do things to address climate change without literally setting ourselves up for an economic disaster,” Palmer said, adding that the current energy policy also impacts the Russian war in Ukraine.
“We have not only weapons, in terms of military terms, but we have an enormous weapon in our arsenal of democracy. And that weapon consists of our oil and gas resources,” Palmer said. “We need to unleash that and help these people.”
HI, I’M ANNIE ANDERSEN, POLITICAL EDITOR FOR STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS. I’m joined by REPRESENTATIVE GARY PALMER A REPUBLICAN FROM CENTRAL ALABAMA. HE SERVES ON AS THE Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee.
And is also on the Energy and Commerce Committee. BECAUSE OF THAT.. HE HAS SPECIAL INSIGHT INTO OUR ENERGY POLICY.
Congressman Palmer, thank you so much for joining me. With eight months left before the midterms, what do you think? Well, the midterms are coming up in about eight months and tell me what do you think is on the minds of your constituents right now?
Rep. Gary Palmer
Well, the number one thing right now is inflation. People are getting crushed by the increase cost of not only energy, but everything else groceries, clothing. And they shouldn’t be surprised because energy is the most inflationary component of the entire economy. There’s energy costs and everything. And you look at what’s happening where gas is almost $2 A gallon higher than it was in December 2020. And it’s it’s literally taking people’s disposable income right out of their pockets.
Yeah, and we’ll we’ll talk more on gas. I know that’s something with your committee, I very much want to dig into on with you. But recent polling from the economist and YouGov found that just about 16% of people approve of the job Congress is doing. And about 55% of the people polled disapprove of the job. Congress is doing that those are horrible numbers. How do you guys plan to address that?
Rep. Gary Palmer
Well, I think we, we start by restoring Congress to its proper role. Right now, decisions are being made by the executive branch, the democrat majority has had very great difficulty in, in getting their major initiatives passed, largely because of the 5050 divide in the Senate. But the things that they’re pushing are things that are very unpopular with the people. And I think later on, we’ll be talking about our commitment to America, we’ll be addressing the issues that are of greatest concern to the American public. And when we get the majority back, I think we’re going to set an example for how Congress should do things. Obviously, we’ll, we’ll still have the by demonstration in place. But I think, as a majority, we’ve got to lay the framework lay out the framework for what the country would look like when Republicans are back in control of both the Congress and the White House. And I think we can do that. And I think you’re always going to have people who dislike Congress. You know, there was a poll that showed that 88% of the people didn’t like Congress yet. The reelection rate for incumbents is extraordinarily high. It’s over 90%. So it gets down to most in almost every election, individual races. But in this midterm election, I think it’s going to get down to the core of the policies of both the Biden administration and the things that the democrat majority is pushed, that are very unpopular.
And you kind of talked about policies and over I feel every election cycle we hear people say kitchen table issues are where at that, but this election, and this cycle more than any really seems to be that we’re seeing gas prices, just crazy high right now. And you sit on the Energy and Commerce Committee. And as I mentioned, gas prices are just so high. And while that is pressing to you. One thing I found interesting is you really want to focus on the big picture about our energy policy. And this is something you said during the committee hearing in March, take a listen.
Rep. Gary Palmer
There was an article came out about your energy policies. And our policies was given Putin the upper hand that was in October.
And I think that just shows that this is not a new issue. Tell me what do you think we need to be doing differently for our energy policy here in America?
Rep. Gary Palmer
Well, Annie, we need to unleash your energy resources. We have an inexhaustible supply of oil and natural gas. There’s one formation out west that holds 3 trillion barrels of recoverable oil. That’s three times what the entire world is used in the last 100 years. In regard to what’s going on in Ukraine, Putin literally has been able to fund his invasion of Ukraine with their energy revenues, largely because the United States under the the administration suspended leases on federal lands, but also because Europeans were convinced to stop fracking. There’s enough natural gas in Europe that people are walking over every day to supply Europe’s needs for 60 years. There’s a natural gas formation in the eastern Mediterranean Cabo Leviathan. formation that Israel and Cyprus and Greece had a joint agreement that the United States was a part of as a partner, to build a pipeline from that gas fill through Italy into southern Europe that was supplied all their needs. Yet, in January, the United States pulled out of it, even though in 2014, Biden gave a speech at Harvard lauding the importance of this this project. So we’ve been, we’ve been very unwise about our approach to energy. And I know a lot of this on the Democrat side, it’s driven by their their manic commitment to climate change. But we can we can do things to address climate change without literally setting ourselves up for an economic disaster, and now looks like an international disaster with what’s happening in Ukraine.
And I heard the bell rings in your votes. So if I can just ask you really quickly, you recently heard from President Solinsky, of Ukraine, and in his remarks, he spoke about 911 and Pearl Harbor. And I spoke to some people who listen to this speech. And they said that that really resonated with them. And so tell me, what were you thinking during his remarks and what’s happening next?
Rep. Gary Palmer
Lanie, I’ve had three zoom calls with people inside of Ukraine, before we had the Zelinsky meeting, and talked with a sitting member of parliament, a talk with a former member of parliament. All of these were together, one of the military commanders for the Ukrainian army. And the last one, I had over 60 members of Congress, Democrats and Republicans on to hear what these people are going through, but to also see the incredible courage, the resilience of these people. So as I sat there and listened to Zelinsky, particularly at the end of his speech, when he spoke to us in English, he reminded me of Winston Churchill and his address to the parliament. And February 9 1941. At the end of his speech to Parliament, which was broadcast on the BBC Worldwide, he knew President Roosevelt would be listening to that. He said, a couple of things that I really think apply to this. And at the end of the speech, he said, Put your confidence in us. And then he said, give us the tools, and we will finish the job. And what Zelinsky is literally asking us to do is to look at how resilient they’ve been, how effective they’ve been, and fighting the Russian invasion. He’s saying, Put your confidence in us, give us the tools. I think that’s what we need to be doing. The other thing, though, that I want to add, is that on one of the Zoom calls that the one that had the second one that I did with these people in Ukraine, and we were doing on four to six o’clock over here, which was midnight to two in the morning over there. Central Time, our time. What I was what one of them said, and it was a usual list of things that they wanted in terms of weapons, but but the Member of Parliament said, tell the members of Congress to stop buying Russian oil, and to unleash America’s energy resources. And I told him to send me a letter from the Ukrainian parliament and get as many members of parliament as it could to sign it, and not committed that I would hand deliver it. I hand delivered that at our classified briefing the next day. But he also had a verbal message, he wanted me to communicate to the members of Congress. And it was this. He said, every barrel of Russian oil, every cubic meter of Russian gas is stained with the blood of Ukraine. And I think that really resonated. So we have not only weapons in terms of in military terms, but we have an enormous weapon in our arsenal of democracy. And that weapon consists of our oil and gas resources. We need to unleash that and help these people.
Well, Congressman, thank you so much for your time. That’s Congressman Gary Palmer from Alabama, straight from DC. This is straight arrow News.