HUDSON: Addressing challenges from fuel to fentanyl

A pumpjack as seen on Wednesday, March 30, 2022, in Tatum, New Mexico. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio, File)

Have you filled up your tank lately? Like my family, I’m sure you have noticed that prices are only going one way. In fact, in North Carolina, average gas prices have increased more than 45 cents per gallon in the past month.

President Joe Biden first started skyrocketing fuel prices by ending pipelines and leases that reduced supply and sent the wrong message to domestic energy producers. International chaos has only worsened the problem, yet President Biden’s only solution has been to drain our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to its lowest level since 1984. In total, the administration has sold off 250 million barrels of oil, much of which ended up in communist China. Major reserve sites are now dangerously low on oil – leaving us more vulnerable to an energy supply disruption, such as in times of inclement weather or a national security emergency.

The Washington Democrat’s lack of action to fix our growing energy problem directly threatens our country’s economic and national security. The good news is the new House Republican majority has a concrete plan to protect our energy reserves and your hard-earned money. Families like yours have suffered for too long and paid too high a price.

House Republicans have solutions to address this crisis. Last week, I voted for the Strategic Production Response Act. This legislation would release America’s abundant fossil fuel reserves located under federal lands and waters, and require the Biden administration to both replenish and maintain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. In addition, this bill would ensure the United States is prepared for true energy supply emergencies.

The Left continues to deny that the reserve is being depleted and claims they have been working to lower record-breaking gas prices.
The truth is gas prices are up over 30% since President Biden took office. Only through increased oil production and more pipeline capacity can we truly meet America’s energy demand and bring relief to your wallet. Passing the Strategic Production Response Act last week is a good start.

In addition to addressing rising fuel prices last week, I was also proud to address another top priority – the fentanyl poisoning epidemic. On Tuesday, I cosponsored the HALT Fentanyl Act, legislation to curb the presence of fentanyl in our communities and save lives. Fentanyl poisoning is now the leading cause of death for Americans aged 18-45. In North Carolina, 3,000 primarily young people lost their lives to fentanyl poisoning in 2021. Biden’s open border policies are only making this tragic epidemic worse, and we must address it now.

As your Congressman and a member of House Republican leadership, I am determined to remain focused on solving problems that impact you and all Americans. From inflation to fentanyl and every other challenge, I’ll never stop working for you.

Richard Hudson is serving his sixth term in the U.S. House and represents North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. He currently serves as the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee and is a member of the House Republican Steering Committee.