MO AG Eric Schmitt Blasts Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm Over Skyrocketing Diesel Prices

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Eric Schmitt, Missouri Attorney General, isn’t afraid to take on the Biden Administration. He has fought the Biden Administration in court over vaccine mandates, and its attempts to avoid the Trump Era Remains in Mexico policy. Schmitt also challenged the administration’s proposed “Disinformation Governance board.”

Schmitt again took aim Tuesday at the administration, this one sounding the alarm about the skyrocketing diesel fuel prices.

Schmitt addressed a letter to Jennifer Granholm (U.S. Department of Energy Secretary) and detailed the recent history of diesel prices as well as the negative effects that the policies of the Biden administration had on them.

Recall that the main driver behind these rising costs is the reduction in diesel supply due to a decrease in oil refinement. The constant attacks on fossil fuels by Washington D.C.’s Department of Energy and the Biden Administration’s Department of Energy are the reason for this reduction in oil refining into diesel. The Administration announced last week that it would allow new oil leases only in the Gulf of Mexico. It also vowed to ban leases in any of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Arctic Oceans. This is a significant shift from President Trump’s plan to make America energy independent.

Oil companies can’t afford to keep their refineries running with the new war on fossil fuels. The United States continues to see a decline in refinery capacity and levels. The U.S. now produces less than 18 million barrels of oil per day. This is a drop of more than 1 million barrels from the COVID pandemic. China, however, is rapidly rising to the top of the oil refiners in the world, refining up to 20 million barrels per day by 2025.

=A decrease in diesel supply has caused diesel prices to rise and also put America at risk. The reduction in diesel fuel supply has reached a level where one hurricane could cause a shortage of diesel fuel that does not meet the needs of the economy. Farmers who don’t have enough fuel will be unable to transport their crops and livestock to the market, creating a shortage of food. Truckers cannot transport an incalculable number of goods across the country if they don’t have enough fuel. Although the Biden Administration created supply-chain problems, a diesel shortage could cause the supply chain to stop.

To make matters worse, the Department of Energy’s plans to convert diesel-powered machinery to electric power is a fantasy due to the state of electrification and battery technology. This is clearly explained in an Energy News Network article, August 2021: “Modern agriculture relies on a fleet of heavy-duty vehicles, including pickup trucks and small utility cars, as well as massive tractors, combines, and combines that can weight from a few tonnes up to 15 tons plus attachments.” This, combined with the multiple work sites and dawn-to-dusk hours, makes electrification difficult.

Schmitt also highlighted the extraordinary threat this poses to our economic stability as a country and in Missouri.

The price of diesel “out there” is important. Diesel fuel is essential for the operation of commerce in America’s heartland. The vast majority of agricultural machinery uses diesel fuel. For tilling the soil, diesel is required. Diesel is required to plant crops. To harvest the crops, diesel is required. Diesel is required to feed livestock. To irrigate the fields, diesel is required. Missouri supplies soybeans, cattle, and cotton as well as wheat, rice, and potatoes. Missouri has one of the largest agricultural areas in the world. Each of these products is now more costly to produce due to the rise in diesel prices. This includes the truckers that transport them to the market.

Inflation is also on the rise due to the unsustainable rising cost of diesel fuel. Diesel fuel costs more in food production. Trucking companies have imposed fuel surcharges on their customers to transport their goods between states due to the high cost of diesel fuel. Because diesel fuel is more expensive, truck drivers are less likely to drive loads. With a decrease in truck drivers, shipping costs rise even more. However, this is due to the rising cost of diesel. Inflation is being driven by diesel costs.

It is absurd to suggest that heavy equipment operators and farmers should just buy electric vehicles. This is a total lack of understanding about how America really works. The energy provided by batteries is only 15% that of diesel. This means that they would need to be changed multiple times throughout the day while truckers travel across the country or farmers are working in their fields. Every time the batteries need to be charged, it’s a waste of time and money.

These warnings will be heeded by the administration. They have not indicated that they will. They seem determined to pursue destructive energy policies — at the country’s peril.