AFBF urges administration to increase domestic energy production
American Farm Bureau is asking President Biden to address high energy costs by increasing domestic energy production.
Andrew Walmsley, senior director of congressional relations with AFBF, says Russia’s attack on Ukraine caused already-high energy prices to skyrocket.
“We’ve seen energy prices increasing— up almost 130% since January 2021,” he says. “They were on the rise and the international events caused a humanitarian crisis, impacting all types of markets, but in particular our energy markets. We’ve seen oil prices shoot through the roof in late February and early March to over $120 a barrel. That has come down a little bit but is still pretty high.”
He tells Brownfield the organization is asking the administration to remove barriers to domestic energy production by increasing production of biofuels.
“One of those would be year-round E15 sales,” he says. “…the administration could also address the Renewable Fuel Standard, which sets the amount of biofuels we use in the overall fuel supply each year. This administration has been very late in setting those standards that the oil industry needs to meet each year. We encourage the administration to set those as well to provide some certainty in the marketplace and send that signal that we should be utilizing more biofuels to help bring down the cost at the pump.”
Walmsley says farmers and ranchers need certainty as the planting season approaches.
“Recent events internationally have shown we need to be doing everything we can do to empower our farmers and ranchers to meet the demand that’s out there, reduce costs where we can, and address the challenges we’re seeing head on,” he says.
In a recent letter, AFBF President Zippy Duvall said oil prices will continue to rise as Russia’s harmful actions in Ukraine continue and further sanctions are imposed against Russia. He says this will create higher consumer costs and threaten energy and economic security.
AFBF says achieving domestic energy independence through comprehensive energy sources remains a priority issue. The organization says it’s committed to working with the administration and Congressional leaders to address the energy crisis.
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Audio: Andrew Walmsley, American Farm Bureau