Although Americans know that 2024 is an election year, they might not know that energy is on the ballot. The election’s outcome will determine the amount people will pay for gasoline and electricity; what appliances they are allowed to buy, and their cost; what kind of new and used cars will be in dealer showrooms, and at what prices; and how much power China will wield over America’s supply chain.
Congress passes major energy bills, but the president has ultimate authority when it comes to how much you pay for electricity and transportation through regulations enacted by individual agencies.
President Biden campaigned on a platform of getting rid of fossil fuels, and he is trying to fulfill his campaign promise. On his first day in office, through executive order, he restricted offshore drilling, expanded boundaries of national monuments, and ended the Keystone XL pipeline. He has made it clear in numerous speeches that America is transitioning away from fossil fuels to renewables. In the 2023 State of the Union address, Biden said fossil fuels would be needed for only another decade.
Sure enough, gasoline prices are 37 percent higher than when Biden took office; electricity bills are 23 percent higher; and natural-gas bills nearly quadrupled before leveling out to the same price as in January 2021.
Although oil production, at over 13 million barrels per day, now exceeds pre-pandemic levels, production is primarily on private lands and could have been even higher if additional federal land were available for development.
Republican candidates are all on record as favoring increased production of fossil fuels, speeding up pipeline construction, and ending subsidies for renewable energy.
Donald Trump’s ten-point plan includes permitting reform, allowing different sources of energy to compete on a level playing field, opening more lands to fossil-fuel development, reversing Biden’s climate agenda, expediting nuclear technology, and protecting the energy grid.
Nikki Haley is pictured in a hard hat on her website, just leaving an offshore oil rig. Her policy proposals are similar. If elected, she would stop “the demonization of the oil and gas industries,” speed up pipeline construction, and reverse Biden’s incentives for energy subsidies and regulations that favor alternative energy.
Ron DeSantis’s energy plan aims for $2-per-gallon gas by 2025 and would prioritize “Midland over Moscow,” “the Marcellus over the Mullahs,” and “the Bakken over Beijing” by increasing oil and natural-gas production.
A new Republican administration would reverse the Biden energy plan, resulting in an immediate decline in energy prices from baseline prices. With additional production, prices would go even lower. Producers would be able to access more areas for leases and drilling, leading to increased production.
In addition, oil and natural gas would be able to travel to where they are needed, due to faster infrastructure permitting. No longer would climate czars in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency be able to slow down pipeline and liquid natural gas export-terminal construction in the name of a transition to renewables.
A new Republican administration would roll back new Biden administration rules on appliances and cars and allow Americans greater choice over what they buy. New regulations were issued by the Department of Energy on December 29, 2023, covering freezers, refrigerators, and refrigerator-freezers. Republican candidates would seek to roll back those regulations.
Most important, a new Republican administration would reverse regulations planned by the Biden White House that would require 60 percent of new-vehicle sales to be electric by 2030 and 66 percent to be electric by 2032. Such regulations force the move to electric vehicles, which are more expensive and less convenient for many people than vehicles powered by gasoline or diesel.
The Biden administration has proposed financial penalties for auto manufacturers that do not comply with its electric-vehicle goals — penalties that drive up prices of the pickup trucks, SUVs, and minivans that are best-sellers in America. This benefits China, which produces 80 percent of the world’s batteries and components for electric vehicles.
Lower prices and greater accessibility of oil and natural gas would benefit not only Americans, but also allies abroad. Many want to import American natural gas to make up for the cutback in supplies from Russia. As Europe moves into its winter season, the need for more natural gas for warming homes and businesses becomes more pressing.
As well as reducing prices that Americans pay for energy, appliances, and cars, increased American production would strengthen the U.S. economy and weaken China’s, as America uses more of its own resources and depends less on battery components from China.
As 2024 progresses, it’s not just Democrats and Republicans who are on the ballot. Your energy and appliance prices are also up for a vote.
This piece originally appeared in the National Review