During the State of the Union Address, President Joe Biden acknowledged the brave people of Ukraine with a pledge to support them in America’s global attempt to secure freedom abroad. This came with the announcement that the U.S. and our allies, will release 60 million barrels from petroleum reserves to Ukraine with 30 million barrels coming from America. The ongoing crisis in Ukraine will undoubtedly create skyrocketing gas prices across the world. However, Biden said that sending our oil reserves to Ukraine will, “help blunt gas prices here at home.”
Biden also said during his speech that “I’m a capitalist, but capitalism without competition isn’t capitalism.” Despite this statement, Biden continues pushing anti-competition policies, including stopping an international pipeline project, halting offshore drilling (in his Build Back Better bill), and freezing oil drilling in a legal battle. We are seeing the fastest increase in gas prices in 40 years and have been feeling rising prices far before the crisis in Ukraine. Perhaps instead of pulling oil from our petroleum reserves, Biden could live up to his call for “American jobs first,” and export energy for European markets as an alternative to Russian oil.
While all of Europe looks at a coming surge in energy prices due to the global reliance on Russian oil, America finally has a chance to be a hero in this war after all. The United States has the largest distribution of crude oil in the world as of 2020. Yet, one of the first things Biden did while in office was kill the Keystone XL Pipeline project. Despite this, his own Energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, made the statement that “pipes are best” during an interview following the Colonial Pipeline ransomware attack.
Biden canceling the Keystone XL Pipeline project created a foreign policy threat by further driving an international reliance on Russian oil, especially given that Europe’s largest source of crude oil is Russia. Yet, despite canceling the pipeline to appease environmentalists in America, Biden waived sanctions on Russia to encourage it to build a pipeline to Germany. Refusing to invest in American infrastructure necessary to provide energy to our European allies poses a significant threat to the foreign policy of our NATO treaty allies.
Commentators have been predicting that Europe will not be able to sanction Russia due to the reliance on Russian oil. This is a major security threat to our NATO allies should Russia decide to shut off gasoline exports. Perhaps this is finally the right time for America to take the lead on exporting oil to Europe.
Biden has been attempting to limit U.S. competitiveness in the energy market with Green New Deal-type policies littering his agenda since he took office. Americans have been “Feeling the Burn” of the Sen. Bernie Sanders energy policy adopted by the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill, which would completely ban offshore drilling in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. And as if that isn’t bad enough, just last week, the administration froze oil and gas drilling in a legal battle against climate costs.
Additionally, Forbes points out that, “JP Morgan Chase’s forecast reckons that a full-scale Russian invasion of Ukraine could prompt oil flows to drop by 2.3 million barrels a day, boosting prices to $150 a barrel and reducing global GDP by 1.6%.”
What will it take for Americans to finally stand up against these atrocious policies that are making Americans poor? Will it be $6 at the pump or $7? Maybe we should ask our friends in Los Angeles.
Although Biden’s energy policies are harming the American economy, it isn’t too late to turn around. This is beyond just protecting Americans at the pump. This is about protecting the world from Vladimir Putin.
Charity Hayden is the Capitalist League’s Virginia State Director.