Biden’s Disastrous Energy Policy Is Gambling Away America’s Economy
The Biden Administration just tripled down on a losing bet to lower gasoline prices for Americans by announcing a record release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, as if it were a brag-worthy achievement.
At the same time, the Administration continues to gaslight Americans by talking about a “Putin price hike” as if we’d all forget that the first SPR release came in November, well before Ukraine was on anyone’s radar. [bold, links added]
By then, prices were up by more than a dollar from the day President Biden took office and declared in no uncertain terms his hostility toward the American oil and gas industry.
Make no mistake, those actions and the introduction of other regulatory hurdles and attempts to restrict capital investment into oil and gas drove negative sentiments, which in turn slowed the response to increasing demand – intentionally.
Does the White House really think Americans will forget that? While the release of a million barrels a day is substantial, history has shown that global crude prices trade lower on the release, providing short-term relief, before both continue to trend higher.
This is the reality President Biden will eventually have to contend with, and which Americans are feeling every day in the form of inflation and high gas prices.
The bigger reality is that the Administration is missing the forest for the trees when it comes to a sound energy policy.
Inexplicably, the White House refuses to lift any of the restrictions it has laid down on oil and gas production on federal lands and in federal waters, despite that being essential for providing reliable, affordable, and environmentally responsible energy to our families and small businesses.
America’s energy discussion unfortunately is whirling around in the vortex of partisan arguments, when it should really be a practical discussion where national needs come above all. Our nation needs all the energy it can get.
That means everything. More solar, more wind, more nuclear, more hydro, and yes, more oil and gas since there is no realistic forecast that shows the world quitting oil and gas by 2050.
In fact, it is expected to still be the dominant energy source that year, while solar, wind, and other sources will grow to nearly the same level.
By innovating and creating a cleaner, more efficient ways of using the assets we have while developing less carbon-intensive options with the same reliability, abundance, and low cost, we win and continue to lead the world in absolute emissions reductions. On this, we can all agree.
However, it does us no good to keep hampering the fundamental part of our energy system and killing off a productive part of our economic health as a nation, unless the goal is to create higher prices long-term.
Our status as the world’s biggest oil and gas producer keeps our economy moving by fueling the rest of it. It keeps our national security strong by reducing the leverage foreign oil-producing nations have on our economy.
And it provides geopolitical strength to help our friends and allies as we are doing now in Europe, with record liquefied natural gas exports steaming to the rescue to replace Russian gas now banned as the result of the Ukraine conflict.
But where is that kind of support for regular Americans? Across all political affiliations and demographics, a recent poll commissioned by CEA found that 60% of Americans support an immediate increase in domestic oil and gas production.
That is a clear demand from the hinterlands for the Administration to help and not hinder the industry. It’s a demand to get federal oil and gas leasing going again in the Gulf of Mexico and elsewhere. It’s a clarion call and one that crosses the political spectrum.
The president could act quickly on several fronts that meet his goals of bringing prices down and getting toward a cleaner, less carbon-intensive future.
The world has changed. If the Administration thinks we are in enough of an emergency to release 180 million barrels of oil from the SPR, then it is clearly time to consider using the Defense Production Act.
That could kickstart expedited permitting, offshore lease sales, fast-tracked pipelines, and immediate guidance on carbon capture and storage regulation, so we can ensure that our environmental goals are not ignored while we meet our most basic energy needs.
Compromise, balance and lower prices are the watchwords here. We should all support a balanced, non-political approach to solving our energy and environmental challenges.
President Biden could make good on his promise to unite us by acting to support American industry across the board – not just favorites.
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