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Biden worsening energy crisis and national security by tapping oil reserves, GOP lawmaker says

President Biden is making the energy crisis "worse, because if you tap the reserve today, that means that reserve won't be there tomorrow," Rep. Austin Scott said.

Published: March 31, 2022 5:47pm

Updated: April 2, 2022 12:10am

GOP Rep. Austin Scott is blasting President Joe Biden over his decision to tap into the country's Strategic Petroleum Reserve, saying he instead should reverse his "anti-energy policies."

The Georgia lawmaker spoke just hours after Biden announced that he will release 1 million barrels of oil a day from the reserve to try to slow climbing gas prices in the U.S., which he blamed on Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine and oil companies that he said are putting profit ahead of oil production.

Scott told the John Solomon Reports podcast that oil can be produced "right here in America," and that Biden simply must "undo his anti-energy policies, and yet he just refuses to do it."

Scott continued: "And so in a way, he's making it worse, because if you tap the reserve today, that means that reserve won't be there tomorrow. And who knows what's going to happen across the world with the current war that's going on?

"When you burn through the reserves, you don't have the reserves, right? And so whether it's a storm or a war, and we are in a war right now, I think everybody realizes that."

Scott also discussed the issue of Russia banning exports of sunflower seeds through the end of August and imposing an export quota on sunflower oil to avoid shortages and ease pressure on prices in Russia.

"Across the world, sunflower and sunflower oil is a big, big food item for the majority of the people," he said. "And what Russia has recently done is a step even further away from the norms in that they are now issuing a ban on sunflower seed and rapeseed export, which oil also comes from rapeseed.

"And so they're actually issuing a ban on the seed supply for the world, not just the actual oil or the commodity that comes from it."

Scott argued that America and the rest of the world "has got to learn from this."

"We cannot allow ourselves to become dependent on countries that do not share our interests or values in anything – whether it be energy, or whether it be food or whether it be pharmaceuticals, or our economy," he said.

Still, Scott made clear that he wasn't advocating for an isolation position as a result of recent events.

"That doesn't mean that you can't have some trade back and forth," he said. "But there's a difference in trade that you're able to get a square deal on and dependence."

Russia and Ukraine are the world's largest producers of sunflower oil, and India is one of the product's largest consumers.

In Tuesday's "Just the News, Not Noise" TV interview, former President Donald Trump suggested that NATO's mission be extended to allow for a stronger military alliance in the Pacific against China.

Scott agreed with Trump's suggestion and pointed out that Australia, India and Japan would join the U.S. against the communist country.

"[W]e have more people over there that share our interests and our values than are aligned with China," he said. "And those are the countries that we need to be focused on.

"And again, it's another area where we don't have to foot all of the bill as the United States. We need to be partnering with those countries – continents, in some cases – that share our interests and our values and have those alliances that, you know, [Trump] was talking about."

He also criticized Georgia GOP Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger for what he called "his conduct during the last election," with Raffensperger allowing election audits but declining to take further action at the request of Trump over concerns of widespread election fraud.

He said President Obama received 85,000 absentee ballots in Georgia. Fellow Democrat Stacey Abrams got about 135,000 absentee ballots in her gubernatorial race against now-GOP Gov. Brian Kemp, but 850,000 absentee ballots were tabulated for Democrat Joe Biden, who defeated Trump in 2020 in Georgia.

"I just don't believe that those numbers could have happened without ballot harvesting, and it was his responsibility to stop it," Scott said of Raffensperger.

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