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U.S. Senator for Wyoming John Barrasso sat down with SVI to discuss inflation, energy, and other matters in Washington D.C.

U.S. Senator for Wyoming John Barrasso joined SVI to discuss policies affecting people in the Cowboy State with items such as inflation, energy, the Biden Administration, and the border.

Inflation and gas prices

Barrasso says Americans are paying the high prices for things due to the policies of the Biden Administration. He says once the current president took office he “declared war” on American fossil fuels. He cites examples such as the blocking the Keystone Pipeline and blocked oil and gas leases.

“He has been just terrible for our country and, clearly, terrible for our pocketbooks,” Barrasso said.

He says he has been in contact with Governor Mark Gordon because of these policy preferences of the Biden administration since oil and gas is the “bread and butter of so much of Wyoming’s economy”. He says many around the world know it exists in Wyoming.

“He is so beholden to these radical, extreme climate elitists,” Barrasso said. “These guys are on a war with America and a war with the economy.”

He says when former President Donald Trump was in office he believed America was energy dominant and now we are energy dependent. He also noted that President Biden has a tripped planned to Saudi Arabia to ask for more oil.

“We have it here,” Barrasso said. “Why aren’t we getting it out of the ground here?”

He says it because Biden continues to commit himself to the “climate extremists” and will not do what the American people need. He says it is hard to believe that when Biden took office gas was nearly half the cost of prices we see today. He is hoping to see some changes if Republicans can flip the majority for both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Energy Production in Wyoming

He says there is so much opportunity in Wyoming in all sectors of energy from wind and solar to coal to nuclear.

“We have it all,” Barrasso said. “And we need it all.”

The senator believes Wyoming is one of the best producers because we have such strict standards to produce clean energy. He says that is not always the case elsewhere the Biden Administration looks to for things like oil. He cites Venezuela as an example which the president asked for more oil production out of.

“In Wyoming it’s 17 times cleaner than what’s coming out of Venezuela,” Barrasso said. “But Joe Biden is going to Venezuela.”

He also recalls meeting with Deb Haaland who is the Secretary of the Interior and oversees all the federal land.

“I asked her ‘Do you think gas prices are too high?’,” Barrasso said. “She talked about COVID, she talked about Putin, she would never admit gas prices were too high.”

He believes many are suffering because they can’t afford to travel for things. Families have to cut things out of their budget so they can afford the price of gasoline. He believes Biden has been “too slow” to react on some of these policy issues.

Violence in America

The senator says what we saw in Texas with the Uvalde shooting was “just tragic”.

“Horrible, heartbreaking for anybody whose had kids and I have three, anyone whose not had children,” Barrasso said. “To watch that unfold and be greatly concerned about all of it.”

He acknowledges there are still lots of questions to it all and he believes there likely needs to be some police accountability.

“We need safe schools,” Barrasso said. “Parents need to feel safe when they send their kids to school and kids need to safe in school.”

He believes mental health services can play a role in helping curb some of these acts.

“I’m also a strong advocate for the Second Amendment,” Barrasso said.

He wonders if those calling for outlawing guns also are not considering the mental health aspect of school safety. He also noted that the Biden Administration may call for Red Flag type laws that exist in some states to apply at a federal level.

“I don’t see that for Wyoming,” Barrasso said. “If a state wants to do something like that, there’s no rule for the federal government to come in like these states (with Red Flag laws) are doing which involves actually confiscating weapons.

“I want to know if somebody that says ‘Hey you ought to pass a law’, is it actually going to address the problem? And will it have stopped this crime or that?”

Election Integrity

He says he has great confidence in the voting system established in the Cowboy State.

“What people want is ballot integrity, accountability, and security,” Barrasso said. “And I believe we have that in Wyoming.”

He still likes the idea of an election day. Basically meaning you know who wins that same day. This involves starting to count votes that you verify before election day for those voting early. His main concern though for the country is that Democrats want to “take over elections for America”.

“They want the whole thing under the control of the federal government and I’m against that,” Barrasso said. “I don’t want Washington telling Wyoming how to run our elections.”

He acknowledges that other states implement other election rules and he believes that is fine if it works for that state. He says there are the things that people want to confirm for sure when voting: the person is an American citizen and is the person “they say they are”.

“To me, that requires a photo identification,” Barrasso said. “Whether that’s a passport or a driver’s license, you have to prove you are who you are if you want to vote and have your vote counted, period.”

He says he doesn’t really like the idea of something called ballot harvesting which is where hired people go to places like nursing homes to get ballots and turn them in.

“Who the heck knows what they turn in, what they don’t turn in,” Barrasso said. “What they help people fill out.”

Border Security

He also says one concern many people in the state bring up to him is how the border is wide open under the current administration.

“We don’t have border security,” Barrasso said. “The number of illegal immigrants into this country since Joe Biden took office 16 months ago is more than the entire four years under President Trump.”

He says that comes down to enforcing the law that is already established. He also believes finishing the wall will help, but mentions that Biden has started taking down parts of the wall.

“He (Biden) is asking for more money for COVID,” Barrasso said. “But if COVID is such a problem why is he allowing anybody that comes across the border not to be tested, vaccinated or not. Apparently it’s not a problem at the border, but a problem around the rest of the country.”

He says the border agents are also swamped because of the number of people coming to the United States. He says under the current administration they are more like tour guides than actual border patrol agents.

He also says it is not just people coming from Mexico or central America. He says during the past year over 150 countries have people come in who have been stopped at the border. He says this is another example of Biden being too slow to react to an issue that is hurting Americans.

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