In his latest episode of The Breakdown with James Lankford, the Oklahoma Senator is told by a MP Morgan executive there’s not much the country can do to lower the skyrocketing gasoline prices. And the blame rests not so much with the oil and gas industry but the regulators.
The program focused on energy costs to American consumers and the Senator discussed the challenge with Chairman of Market and Investment Strategy for JP Morgan Asset Management, Michael Cembalest.
Lankford and Cembalest also talked about the lack of access critical minerals in our nation, which is driving up costs and creating supply-chain issues for Americans on energy-related materials and for the electronics we use on a daily basis.
Lankford continues to call out the Biden Administration for its anti-US energy policies that he says are doing nothing to fight high inflation. Lankford also continues to lead in the Senate to offer solutions to bring down energy costs to help reduce inflation.
Lankford questioned Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland about the Administration’s policies that are raising prices and standing in the way of US energy production. Lankford introduced a bill to counter China’s market dominance and establish a secure supply chain of critical minerals. Amid the crisis in Ukraine, Lankford called for the US to cut off the purchase of oil from Russia and implored Biden to restore America’s energy dominance and stop the failing energy policies that are emboldening Putin.
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On prices at the pump:
Lankford: We’re paying five bucks a gallon for gasoline, way more than that for diesel right now. What can be done that would actually make a difference to start reducing the price of oil and gas?
Cembalest: The short answer is there’s not a heck of a lot that can be done…there’s just been way too little investment in oil and gas infrastructure relative to oil and gas demand…the futurists, the politicians and a bunch of other regulators have been making it so difficult for the oil and gas industry to put capital into the ground that we now have had a situation where capital spending on oil and gas is down 70 percent while oil and gas consumption is the same as it was five, seven years ago.
On mining for critical minerals in the US:
Lankford: It’s not that we don’t have lithium here in the United States or rare earth minerals here in the United States or manufacturing here in the United States, we have those things also here. When we talk about rare earth minerals that doesn’t mean they’re only one place on earth, there are several places. In fact, in our state, there’s a new production facility that just announced that they’re opening up. It will be the first production facility for some of the rare earths to do magnets that will happen in the United States that they’re planning to be able to open up in my state of Oklahoma. So some of this is here, just extremely difficult to be able to mine it. What do you see as the big issues of how we can move from not being dependent on China for lithium and other rare earths are trying to be able to move that back to the United States?
Cembalest: Well, I mean, you need kind of a change to the regulatory approach—we do a lot of business owners. Small business owners, medium-sized business owners, and they tell us that in some states, you walk in and your meet with some local regulators and politicians, and the line of discussion is ‘what can we do to help you? What can we do to make you more successful so you can grow your business, hire more people, and thrive here?’ And in other places, the northeast for example, they start out with a list of all the things you can’t do or else you’ll get in trouble. It’s really a mindset of whether or not we want to embrace and encourage these kind of activities or not. And then that percolates through the entire regulatory and financial support systems in these industries, including capital provisions from banks.
Source: Lankford press