Increase Domestic Energy Production to Lower Costs at the Pump, Tester Urges Biden Administration

Senator calls for strengthening energy independence from Russian enemies, urges Administration to use all tools to boost American production

U.S. Senator Jon Tester today urged the Biden Administration to immediately work to increase domestic energy production to protect consumers from spiking gasoline prices and reduce dependence on foreign oil and gas production in light of Russia’s unprovoked war with Ukraine.

“As our nation unites to confront President Vladimir Putin’s reckless actions, strengthening our energy independence from enemies like Russia must be a priority,” wrote Tester in a letter to the Secretaries of Energy, State, and Interior. “I believe it is critically important to immediately use the tools at our disposal to increase domestic energy production to protect American consumers from spiking gasoline prices and isolate President Putin and his oligarchs. Montanans are facing gas prices that are, on average, a dollar higher than they were a year ago.”

Tester’s letter continues: “To help combat these price increases, our nation needs to make bold moves to secure our affordable domestic fuel supply by incentivizing responsible domestic oil and gas production and emphasizing trade with allies like Canada… I still support the Keystone XL Pipeline project and believe the State Department’s rejection of a permit request was short-sighted. Development of projects built to high safety and environmental standards like the Keystone XL Pipeline would secure reliable petroleum sources from our allies. We should review projects like that one and seek to keep the oil here in America. I stand ready to work with you to secure our energy independence from countries like Russia and protect everyday folks and businesses from spiking fuel prices.”

Tester’s letter calls on the Biden Administration to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, increase transparency into the oil and gas leasing process, invest in domestic clean energy generation, and to work with oil and gas producers to incentivize domestic energy production in order to lower cost for American consumers. He also reiterates his longstanding support for the Keystone XL Pipeline, and encourages additional review of similar projects that would keep oil in America.

As a longtime supporter of the Keystone XL Pipeline project, Tester cosponsored bipartisan legislation to override President Biden’s decision to cancel the Keystone XL permit and allow the project to move forward. He also broke with his party to approve the pipeline’s construction in 2015, and when former President Obama vetoed the bill, Tester voted to override the veto.

Full text of Tester’s letter can be found HERE.