On his first day in office, President Joe Biden embarked on a campaign to rein in domestic oil and gas production. On his 204th day in office, he was pleading with OPEC to increase its production to stem the sharp rise in gasoline prices, to which OPEC said no dice.
Virtually overnight, the nation has gone from Trump-era “energy dominance” to a Carter-era energy crisis.
But unlike Jimmy Carter, who blundered his way into gasoline shortages, Biden is intentionally creating the current situation to pay homage to climate “crisis” environmentalists.
During his presidential campaign, Biden promised to “get rid of fossil fuels.” Since taking office, he’s been busy trying to carry out that pledge.
One of the first things he did in office was to call a halt on oil and gas leases on federal lands and off our coastlines, and has yet to resume allowing them even after a federal judge ordered the administration to do so. He shut down construction of the Keystone Pipeline. He blocked energy development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. He directed federal agencies to “eliminate fossil fuel subsidies as consistent with applicable law.” He’s promised to add some $90 billion to the industry’s tax burden by eliminating what he calls tax “subsidies.”
Even now, the administration “is preparing to release a blueprint for limiting sales of U.S. drilling rights as rising oil and gasoline prices highlight the risks of curtailing domestic crude production,” reports Bloomberg. “The Interior Department also is expected to limit new leases in some sensitive coastal and Western areas and begin a broad study of the climate effects of oil and gas development on federal property.”
This is a 100% reversal of the policies of the Trump administration, which came into office promising to unleash the domestic oil and gas industry on the understanding that America was blessed with abundant supplies of these energy sources, and that freeing up access would be a huge boon to the economy and national security.
Trump’s plan was working. From November 2016 to March 2020, domestic oil production shot up 44% and imports dropped 33%.
As a result, by 2019, the U.S. became a net oil exporter for the first time since at least 1949. By December 2020, the U.S. was exporting an average of 1.2 million barrels of crude oil and petroleum products every day.
What’s happened under Biden’s “build back better” nonsense?
Domestic oil production has been flat all year, and so hasn’t come close to recovering the ground lost during the COVID economic lockdowns last spring. Imports, meanwhile, are on the rise.
As a result, the country was a net oil importer again from March through May (the last month for which data are available), according to the Energy Information Administration.
The press, naturally, is clueless to explain any of this, other than to parrot White House propaganda. To wit: The administration says that Biden’s attacks on the oil and gas industry have nothing to do with the sharp increase in gasoline prices since he took office (see nearby chart). The line we’re being fed is that higher prices are simply the result of production not keeping pace with the return of economic activity as COVID restrictions ended.
Really? You will notice that Biden is not lifting a finger to help boost domestic production, and his anti-oil policies aren’t exactly encouraging the industry to do any more than it is now.
Rep. Garret Graves, R-La., had it just right when he said: “Begging OPEC to pump more oil while kneecapping abundant U.S. energy production is next-level stupidity. Under President Trump we were energy independent, but thanks to these misguided policies we’re killing U.S. production while boosting Russia, Iran, and other adversaries.”
Chalk it up to yet another one of Biden’s self-inflicted wounds.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board