Okay, we got to go ahead here. Congressman Bill Johnson, thank you so much for joining us on the Capitol Report.
Good to be with you this morning. Thank you.
Now, Congressman, in a press release yesterday, you charged that when it comes to Russia, the actual Russian interference is against the against the United States is when it comes to energy. If you could tell us what you mean by that?
Well, you know, a report that was released by the science and space science space and Technology Committee, back in 2018, when it was under Republican leadership, found that that dating as far back as 2011, Russians had begun channeling money to, to activist groups throughout Europe to force getting away from fossil fuels. For example, France banned hydraulic fracturing for natural gas in 2011, Bulgaria did the same thing in 2012, the Netherlands in 2015, Germany did it in 2015. And the UK did it in 2019, all the while becoming more and more dependent on the Russians for their energy resources, natural gas. So it is there's also evidence in that report that the Russians have done the same thing here in America funding activist organizations that have tried to impact and influence American energy policy. And you see it playing out today in the Biden administration, trying to bring us to a point where we can't harvest our natural resources of oil and gas and coal, and, and even nuclear, I mean, there's there's moves to shut down nuclear energy here in our country, the Biden administration seems to be going down the same path that that Europe went down. And and we have evidence that the Russians have been influencing that with money to activist groups. And I've sent a letter to the committee chairman, on Energy and Commerce and other committees of jurisdiction, asking them to reopen that investigation. And let's find out what the real Russian interference story is all about. And it's all about energy.
Now, Congressman, you touched upon it there when you mentioned these activist groups, I think a lot of people, you know, don't realize that the green energy lobby is real and big, you know, because it comes across as a very noble cause to save the environment, which we all want to do. But when money is involved, things change. So how big is this this green energy lobby in Washington?
Well, it is big, how big the Russian influence is, that remains to be seen. And that's exactly what we that's exactly what we need to find out. We the evidence that I've seen, says that Russia spent over $90 million, the equivalent $90 million funding those activist groups in Europe to accomplish what they did there. So we need to dig into this and find out if they've been channeling that money to to a green energy activist groups here in America. Look, I'm a farm boy, I believe that we need to keep the air clean the water clean, the land clean, I'm all about protecting our environment, because that's how we grow our food. And we've got to be able to feed our our people. But you can't throw the baby out with the bathwater. Fossil fuels have raised more people out of poverty across the globe than any other energy source on the planet. And America has done more to reduce carbon emissions and to address climate change than any other nation on the planet. And to ruin our economy and allow Russians to interfere with our energy policy is appalling to me, and we need to get to the bottom of it.
Now, Congressman in Los Angeles, we're seeing $7 per gallon. Where does this all end? And do you see a breaking point where the Democrats get on board with drilling and fracking in the US? And does this become a political liability for them?
Well, you know, I suspect it has been probably for decades, maybe even more since Joe Biden ever filled up his gas at the gas pump himself. I suspect that that is true. So I think it's going to take colleagues both in the House and the Senate, who have to go home and face their family have to face their communities have to face their businesses. There. constituents who are paying these outrageous gas prices, and I think you're going to begin to see the Biden ministration coming under increasing pressure to wait a minute. You know, we were energy independent just a few short months ago, under the under the previous administration, we were producing 13 million barrels of oil per day. And let me make this point. I got a briefing from an expert last week, you know, if we were producing 13 million barrels of oil a day, that experts said that the price of gasoline or the price of a barrel of oil on the global market would be somewhere in the $65 range, not the 100 plus dollar range that you see right now, except for the Russian oil, because they're going to arbitrarily inflate the price of their oil because they're using it as a hammer over our friends and allies in Europe. But can you imagine what that would do to inflation to see $65 per barrel of oil, what that would do to our refining process, how it would affect the pumps, how it would affect the cost of groceries at the store. The mind administration could do some things today to turn this around.
Congressman Bill Johnson, thank you. Thank you. Thank you, Congressman.