Neil Chatterjee to Newsmax: 'Legitimate Concern' of Power Blackouts Neil Chatterjee (Getty Images)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 23 November 2022 11:46 AM EST
Soaring demand for energy, including shortages of natural gas, coal, and oil, means there is an "absolutely legitimate concern" that Americans could be hit with power blackouts this winter, Neil Chatterjee, chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under former President Donald Trump, said on Newsmax, Wednesday.
"We've got a couple of situations that are coming together right now to create a problematic situation," Chatterjee said on Newsmax's "National Report." "You've got tight supplies. You've got increased natural gas prices. We're dealing with the effects of the war on Ukraine, but we also are constraining our own energy supplies here at home."
Chatterjee added that the northeastern part of the United States is at risk because, for years, environmentalists pushed back against pipeline development.
This is "ironic," he added, because gas is being brought instead from Russia, which means it must be imported by tankers, or consumers must burn oil, "which is far worse for the environment."
Meanwhile, Chatterjee said the "hypocrisy" of the Biden administration is frustrating when it comes to the purchase of oil from Saudi Arabia.
"The president, in the run-up to the election, was criticizing domestic oil and gas producers here in the U.S while simultaneously fist-bumping" Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, said Chatterjee.
"There were legitimate concerns the administration was raising about human rights and Saudi Arabia, but you've got to be consistent in your views. You can't just be for human rights when oil prices are low, and then forego your concern for human rights when oil prices are high."
Even so, the U.S. does not need to beg Saudi Arabia to increase oil production, Chatterjee added.
"What we need to do is to create a regulatory environment that will enable American producers to create this energy, these jobs, economic growth, and alleviate pressure for Americans here at home with their own domestic supply," he said.
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