Dem Congressman: We Must Stop Drilling for Oil 'Completely'

'Severe weather events' won't stop unless oil is eradicated, Jamaal Bowman argues

May 30, 2023

The United States must "stop drilling for fossil fuels completely" or Americans will continue to suffer from "severe weather events," New York Democratic congressman Jamaal Bowman said Tuesday.

Bowman's comments came during a CNN appearance, which saw the "Squad" member attack the oil and gas industry and lobby for an "expedited" transition to green energy alternatives. "Number one, we need to stop drilling for fossil fuels completely," Bowman said. "But number two, we need an expedited way to get us to clean, renewable energy, or we will continue to have these severe weather events that we have been having for quite some time because of the warming of the planet."

Bowman's call to eradicate oil and gas drilling in the United States comes as Americans recover from sky-high gas prices under President Joe Biden. The national average price for a gallon of gas last summer exceeded $5 for the first time ever, and forecasters say the average could again exceed $4 in the coming months.

Biden in 2020 campaigned heavily against U.S. oil and gas production, promising to "end fossil fuel" and allow "no more drilling." The Democrat went on to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline and implement a moratorium on new gas leases within days of taking office.

Biden's administration has also targeted the oil and gas industry through heavy-handed regulations. Earlier this month, for example, the Environmental Protection Agency unveiled new standards that force coal and gas power plants to slash their carbon emissions a whopping 90 percent between 2035 and 2040. The rule is expected to force many of those plants to shut down rather than spend millions of dollars to comply.

A sharp reduction in both fossil fuel power plants and oil and gas drilling would cripple America's energy economy. Roughly 80 percent of the country's 2021 primary energy consumption came from fossil fuels, and energy demand is expected to increase in the coming years as more Americans use electric vehicles.

While Biden has called to meet that demand through green energy sources such as wind and solar, those alternatives come with reliability issues, prompting elected officials and watchdog groups to warn that much of the United States could face power blackouts this summer and beyond.

"I'm afraid to say it, but I think the United States is heading towards a catastrophic situation," Federal Energy Regulatory Commission member Mark Christie said during a May Senate hearing. "The problem is not the addition of wind and solar, it's the subtraction of dispatchable resources like coal and gas."