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WASHINGTON–You may be having to make some tough decisions about your family budget because of the economy. Rep. Larry Bucshon (R-Ind.) says he’s not surprised the economy shrank some the last quarter. Bucshon also questioned Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a Dept. of Energy budget hearing with the Energy and Commerce committee Thursday.

“It doesn’t surprise me the economy’s slowing. With high energy prices, with high grocery prices, that affects everything,” he said, in an interview from his Washington office.

Bucshon criticized some of the Biden administration’s energy policies for contributing to that, but said the pandemic is still having an effect, especially in other parts of the world.

LISTEN: Congressman Larry Bucshon talks energy and economics

“In fairness, the pandemic world-wide is still having an effect. You see in China, they’re still locking down in a lot of their cities,” he said. “What does that do? That shuts down manufacturing in China, which affects the international supply chain.”

When Bucshon questioned Granholm on the department’s budget proposals, he noted that the federal government doesn’t own gas stations.

“So, if that’s the case, why should the federal government own the charging stations?” he asked, acknowledging that the government does play a role in helping new means and modes of transportation and energy get off the ground.

“I believe that the market will decide that. The private sector will ultimately decide that,” he said.

Bucshon said that while Republicans are not against renewable energy and support an approach that incorporates solar, wind and other renewable sources of energy, he and other Republicans believe that it’s too soon to push the major renewable initiatives to the degree that Democrats want.

“To lean on just renewables with the timeline that Democrats are proposing is not both economically feasible or practical,” he said.

Bucshon said he believes forcing it too soon will leave the country with an electrical grid that is unreliable and unaffordable.

“I want a more practical, pragmatic approach to decrease emissions over time, but also not having the ratepayers paying so much for energy that may be unreliable, that it’s not a sustainable thing.”

He said investing billions in charging stations at the federal level right now is short-sighted when only three to four percent of Americans have electric cars. Democrats are hopeful that building out the infrastructure will both provide ways for people to charge conveniently and encourage the purchases.

But, many people have already invested in their cars, and can’t afford the technology yet, which is why Bucshon believes Dept. of Energy policies are burdensome.

Still, he believes some of the budget items discussed are practical.

“If you look at their budget, there are some things in there for LNG, for example, liquified natural gas, and other things. So, it’s not completely devoid of practical budgetary things.”