President Joe Biden, sorely in need of an alibi as oil and gasoline prices soar and wreak havoc on the economy, now blames Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for the spike in energy prices. In fact, surging oil and gas prices are the inevitable results of Biden’s own foolish green policies.
“Putin’s war is already hurting American families at the gas pump … I’m going to do everything I can to minimize Putin’s price hike here at home,” Biden told Americans Tuesday, as he imposed a ban on Russian oil.
Later, he doubled down on his claim. “Can’t do much right now. Russia’s responsible,” Biden said. “It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production.”
Such lies would be laughable, if not for the disastrous impact that Biden’s inflation is having on working Americans and small businesses, still struggling to recover from the Democrats’ COVID lockdowns of the past two years.
Biden went even further, however, also blaming energy companies for the mess:
“To the oil and gas companies and to the finance firms that back them – we understand Putin’s war against the people of Ukraine is causing prices to rise. We get that. That’s self-evident. But it’s no excuse to exercise excessive price increases or padding profits or any kind of effort to exploit this situation or American consumers.”
That Biden and his public relations minions would even repeat such economic lies shows both political desperation and contempt for the American people.
To be sure, the Ukraine war has had a recent impact on energy, pushing per barrel oil prices for West Texas Intermediate crude from $92.81 on Feb. 24, the day Putin’s troops invaded Ukraine, to as high as high as $123.70 on Tuesday of this week.
But energy prices began rising virtually from Biden’s first day in office, more than a year before Putin invaded Ukraine, adding to already severe inflationary pressures in the economy. Today, oil prices are more than double the $53.13 per barrel that prevailed when Biden’s presidency began.
Meanwhile, prices for a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline today average $4.25, an all-time high, compared to just under $2.40 a gallon at the onset of the Biden administration.
In a recent column, American Enterprise Institute fellow Desmond Lachman observed that “even before the full impact of the Russian sanctions has worked its way through our economy, consumer price inflation had surged to 7.5%. That is the fastest rate of inflation that we have experienced since 1982. In the months immediately ahead we must expect inflation to rise further. The expected surge in gasoline prices alone could increase inflation by 1.5 percentage points.”
What’s worse, this is no accident. It’s intentional. It’s part of a broader war on energy waged by the Democrats in the name of appeasing the great climate change god they worship.
As we’ve said, the all-out assault on fossil fuels began on Biden’s first day on the job, when he shot down the Keystone XL pipeline, and subsequently slapped severe limits on oil and gas exploration, drilling and permitting on federal lands and waters.
Egged on by the far left and congressional Democrats, a number of “woke” major banks have even begun curtailing lending to the oil and gas industry, raising costs for finding and extracting new sources of energy. All in the name of curbing climate change.
Last October, Biden’s Democrat buddies in Congress convened hearings, forcing “the CEOs of Exxon, BP, Shell, and Chevron to explain what steps they are taking to produce less oil and gas,” as the Washington Free Beacon reported. It was intimidation by politics, plain and simple.
But note: less oil and gas with rising demand means higher prices. It’s the iron law of supply and demand. Yet, despite soaring prices, the administration’s goal of strangling the oil and gas industry remains.
Just this week, EPA Administrator Michael Regan accidentally revealed the truth behind our soaring energy costs: “We’re pressing the accelerator to reach a zero-emissions future sooner than most people thought.”
And this agenda has been in place at least since early in the Obama administration: Raise fossil fuel prices to such painful levels that Americans will be compelled to buy hybrids and EVs, instead of gasoline powered cars. And hide the costs by making taxpayers pay for it all.
“Somehow, we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe,” Obama Energy Secretary Stephen Chu told the Wall Street Journal way back in 2008.
Well, Democrats have been doing just that ever since. As we said, for them, it’s not a bug; it’s a feature. And, along with $6 trillion in added federal spending on COVID, it’s contributing to our raging inflation problem, which hits the poor and working Americans hardest.
So as prices for energy soar, keep this in mind. It isn’t Putin, or oil companies, or the pandemic, or the supply-chain crisis to blame for higher energy prices. It’s Democratic “green” policies that make it more costly to feed your family, heat your home, drive your car, or run a business, along with dozens of other things.
And get this: They’re doing this to you on purpose.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board