Biden appears to go off script to say US needs oil, gas drilling

President Biden appeared to go off script during his State of the Union address Tuesday evening, saying America will need oil and natural gas for years to come.

“We still need oil and gas for a while,” Biden said during his speech.

Biden’s comments were quickly met with mixed reactions as some Republicans appeared to cheer the remarks.

The president then recounted an incident in which an oil executive asked him why his company should invest in fossil fuel projects in light of the adverse business environment for oil and gas projects. Biden said he responded that oil and gas will be needed for years to come.

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President Biden delivers his State of the Union address on Tuesday. (Drew Engerer/Getty Images)

“They said, ‘Well, we’re afraid you’re going to shut down all the oil wells and all the oil refineries. So, why should we invest in them?’ I said, ‘We’re going to need oil for at least another decade and beyond,’” Biden added.

Afterward, Republican lawmakers in the chamber were heard laughing loudly at the comment, likely because most estimates say oil and gas will need decades more before they can be phased out and replaced. Green alternatives should be brought instead.

During the State of the Union, Biden claimed that the GOP wanted to cut Social Security, Medicare

Biden’s comments about oil and gas, however, were not specifically included in the official copy of his speech shared by the White House. The only mention of oil in the official transcript was a comment about Big Oil reporting record profits last year.

“Last year, they made $200 billion in the middle of the global energy crisis,” he said. “It’s outrageous.”

The Biden administration has repeatedly targeted oil and gas production as part of its climate agenda, which it has aggressively pursued in an effort to curb global warming.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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