It’s stunning to hear President Biden (and the rest of the Democrats) spin our growing energy crisis. Like a child with his hand caught in the cookie jar, Biden continually tells the American people, “I didn’t do it!” In fact, yes he did. And he still is.
“Let’s debunk some myths: My administration has not stopped or slowed U.S. oil production,” Biden said on Wednesday, adding that he’s “doing everything in my power to reduce gasoline prices.”
Is that true? In fact, the entire energy policy of the Biden administration has been directed at not just slowing, but stopping U.S. oil production. The intended result: Higher gasoline prices for consumers, yet another Bidenflation tax on American families that is already pushing many to the brink of financial insolvency.
That’s not a partisan talking point, by the way. Even his own administration’s energy officials admit that the goal of the administration is to get rid of fossil fuels by raising prices. They just don’t want it now, before the 2022 midterm elections.
Oil output must be limited in order to “make sure that we’re in a better footing to accelerate the transition,” said Amos Hochstein, Biden’s Special Presidential Coordinator for International Energy Affairs.
By the way, we wrote about this back in March of this year, when Biden was fixated on blaming Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin for our self-inflicted energy woes.
“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 said, as he banned Russian oil imports.
Just as he did back then, Biden this week blamed U.S. oil companies for the energy mess.
“You’re sitting on record profits and we’re giving you more certainty so you can act now to increase oil production now,” Biden said.
More certainty? Record profits? Sure enough, as energy prices soared recently, quarterly oil company profits jumped along with them. But that’s only part of the story.
Oil industry profits are notoriously fickle and volatile. And they can actually decline when companies are aggressively investing for the future. Biden has repeatedly said on the record that his goal is to shut down the American oil industry.
A quick look at the actual financial data of major oil and gas companies tells the tale. Keep in mind that, over the long haul, overall net profit for all American companies averages a little over 5%. Here’s the oil and gas industry’s recent record:
Year Net Profit Margins (% of revenue)
Source: Ready Ratios, based on SEC data.
Not exactly “record profits,” is it?
Democrats’ claims that oil companies are “profiteering” or “doing Putin’s bidding” are lies verging on slander. It’s simply not true. U.S. oil and gas producers are in a fight for their very existence, and if they go, America’s highest-in-the-world standard of living goes with them.
Asking them to “cut prices” for political purposes is asking them to commit financial suicide. Which, come to think of it, seems to be Biden’s goal.
But what really sticks in our craw is Biden’s earlier claim that he’s doing “everything in my power” to bring energy prices down. It’s a complete lie, one that was utterly demolished by a short, six-line Tweet from environmentalist Michael Shellenberger:
“Biden just now said he’s been “doing everything in my power to reduce gas prices,” but that’s false. He
– slashed acreage for oil/gas production
– killed the re-opening of a major oil refinery
– repressed private investment in oil/gas production by flooding market with SPR oil”
He might have added: “Killed the Keystone Pipeline,” which would have brought millions of barrels of Canadian oil to the U.S. while creating thousands of jobs.
Biden’s no doubt desperate, as polls show Democrats losing favor with voters in the upcoming midterm elections, in large part due to the havoc wreaked by soaring energy prices. Since Biden took office in January 2021, the average price for a gallon of gasoline has soared 62%, from $2.39 a gallon to $3.86 a gallon.
Heating oil and gas prices to heat homes this winter are likewise surging. Americans are feeling the pinch as they haven’t since the 1970s oil crisis.
Biden’s response? Open the spigots on the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which is now at 37-year lows as Biden squanders oil that’s been built up over decades to make up for a crude oil shortage that he caused.
Biden just announced another 15 million barrel drawdown, with three weeks to go before the Nov. 8 election. It’s a clear attempt to buy votes, even though the energy “emergency” the U.S. faces is one of its own making.
For his part, Biden denies any such intent. “It’s not politically motivated at all,” he said.
Biden has set the U.S. on a doomed course to reach his chimerical goal of “100% clean” electrical grid by 2035. That means no net use of carbon-based fuels. So why would the oil industry, which Biden has pledged to destroy, pump more oil now and take losses just to get Biden and the Democrats off the hook?
Here’s the reality. Today the U.S. gets roughly 87% of its energy from oil, coal, natural gas and nuclear power, all energy sources the Biden administration actively seeks to eliminate or severely restrict. The remaining 12% or so comes from a grab bag of so-called “renewable” energy sources.
Sorry, but there’s no way that we could possibly decarbonize our economy by 2035 without a massive decline in living standards here in the U.S. and abroad. It will destroy America’s economy. Those who doubt this are delusional.
Even Larry Summers, the former top economist in both the Clinton and Obama administrations who has lately differed sharply with Biden administration policies, called Biden’s energy push “kind of insane.”
We kind of agree.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board