When it comes to lying, we know that Donald Trump is hard to beat – pretty much, if his lips are moving, you can be almost certain he’s not telling the truth. Meanwhile, here in Virginia, Glenn Youngkin – who in 2021 said he was “honored to receive President Trump’s endorsement” and that “President Trump represents so much of why I’m running” – is giving Trump a run for his money when it comes to dishonesty, including his tweet this morning which falsely claimed that “@JoeBiden’s EPA concedes one of America’s greatest advantages—energy independence.” So…what are the actual facts on Youngkin’s latest whopper? Let’s go to the official source (the U.S. Energy Information Administration) for U.S. energy production, consumption, exports, imports, etc. to see what they have to say.
First off, check out the following U.S. energy trade statistics, which in 2022 showed that not only was the U.S. “energy independent,” we were BETTER than that, with a whopping $62.4 BILLION energy trade SURPLUS in 2022! Note that during the Trump administration, the U.S. ran energy trade DEFICITS in 2017-2019, then saw a $27 billion surplus in 2020…which, again, grew to $62.4 billion in 2022 under President Joe Biden (and which, during the first three months of 2023, is far outpacing the same period in 2022 or 2021).
OK, Youngkin might say, but how about precccccioussss fossil fuels? Didn’t Biden kills those? Uhhhhh…nope. See below for tables on petroleum and natural gas, which show that in fact, U.S. petroleum production is now running at 18.2 million barrels per day, the highest U.S. petroleum production EVER, and higher than the 13-17 million barrels per day we saw when Trump was president. As for natural gas, production in 2022 hit a record high (35.8 trillion cubic feet), up significantly from the period when Trump was in office.
And…yes, solar power is also growing fast, reaching 204 billion kilowatthours in 2022, up from just 131 billion kilowatthours during Trump’s final year in office. And wind power is also growing fast, with consumption up from 2,963 trillion Btu in 2020 (Trump’s last year in office) to 3,845 trillion Btu in 2022…and growing rapidly.
In sum, the U.S. is a net energy EXPORTER (aka, BETTER than “energy independent”), with production of petroleum, natural gas, solar and wind all growing – and higher than they were when Trump was president. So yeah, Glenn Youngkin’s lips are moving, which means…well, you know!