“Will you reconsider your policies that are limiting American production and driving up costs of home heating fuel this winter?”
That was one of the questions for President Joe Biden in a letter from New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, released just hours before a presidential visit to the North Country.
In his letter to Biden, who’s making an appearance at the Green Bridge in Woodstock, N.H. to tout the Democrats’ new $1 trillion infrastructure bill, Sununu asks the president some pointed questions about inflation, energy, and vaccine mandates. The governor also points out his state is at the bottom of the list in total funding for highway programs — a complaint he’s repeatedly made to the state’s all-Democratic federal delegation.
“We’re 50th in the country for roads and bridges, and they’re coming to New Hampshire to tout roads and bridges,” Sununu said during a Tuesday morning radio interview in advance of Biden’s visit. “And our federal delegation is taking a victory lap?”
During the interview, Sununu also reiterated his concern that the trillion-dollar spending plan doesn’t address the top concerns of Granite State voters — inflation and energy costs — and may even make them worse.
“I heard President Biden’s Treasury Secretary [Janet Yellen] say that the infrastructure spending would lower inflation. That’s the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard,” Sununu said. “The cost of road construction per mile could double. Where is all this steel coming from? Where are the workers going to come from?”
New Hampshire, which had the lowest unemployment in the nation before the COVID-19 lockdown, continues to suffer from acute worker shortages. It’s common for Granite State businesses to reduce the hours they’re operating and for customers to be turned away from restaurants due to a lack of labor.
“The cost of building roads, bridges, and pipelines is at an all-time high, we have heard from construction workers who plan to leave the workforce if the vaccine mandate goes through, and CDL drivers will be harder to come by as the federal government increases the hurdles to obtaining a license,” Sununu wrote. “Ensuring that roads get built, bridges get repaired, and drinking water gets improved will be even more challenging given the economic challenges Washington seems oblivious to.”
In his letter, Sununu also raised what may be the hottest political issue of the coming winter: Home heating costs.
“Will you reconsider your policies that are limiting American production and driving up costs of home heating fuel this winter? My office has received numerous inquiries from concerned New Hampshire citizens about inflation, and specifically the increased cost of home heating fuel. The U.S. Energy Information Administration projects nearly half of U.S. households will spend more than 30 percent more than last year if they heat their homes with natural gas, 54 percent if they heat their homes with propane, and 43 percent more if they heat their homes with heating oil.
“Unfortunately, New England will experience the brunt of these projected increases and they will hit our most vulnerable citizens the hardest.”
Biden has made opposition to expanded domestic fossil fuel production a centerpiece of his energy policy. He pulled the plug on the Keystone XL pipeline his first day in office and imposed a ban on new energy development on federal land.