President’s State of the Union Address Missed Opportunity on Energy Independence

During his first State of the Union address last Tuesday, President Joe Biden pledged to battle rising energy prices as a warning to Russia. Biden said he would release 30 billion barrels of oil from the United States’ strategic oil reserves as a way to lower gas prices domestically. The release follows ones ordered in November that were also coordinated with U.S. allies.

But, PA Chamber of Business and Industry President and CEO Gene Barr said that President Biden didn’t go far enough in committing to increasing energy production domestically. In fact, in a recent commentary in the Delaware Valley Journal, Barr said that more needs to be done at both the state and federal levels to curb reliance on energy imports and invest in domestic infrastructure.

For example, in part due to regulatory pressure from the Biden administration to reduce domestic production and impede energy infrastructure like the Keystone XL pipeline, the U.S. has dramatically increased the volume of imported Russian oil over the past two years. Yet, Pennsylvania is now the number two producer of natural gas and the leader in electricity exports to other states.

“To help keep the peace and to build a more sustainable global future, America’s prolific energy resources must be leveraged to the maximum. We can no longer afford State and federal energy policy that accommodates and enriches Russia,” Barr wrote.


Founded in 1916, the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry is the state's largest broad-based business association, with its membership comprising businesses of all sizes and across all industry sectors. The PA Chamber is The Statewide Voice of BusinessTM.