After Vowing To Regulate American Oil Out Of Business, Biden Asks Them To Magically Lower Prices

Democrats have spent decades warning that the United States must stop using the most efficient and affordable energy sources or it will be consumed by heat waves, fireballs, and cataclysmic weather events. Every flood, every hurricane—every natural event, really—is now blamed on climate change.

Why, if we’re on the precipice of this apocalypse, if saving the planet trumps every other concern, is Joe Biden begging everyone to drill? On the days Democrats aren’t blaming Putin for rising gas prices (a cost the president not long ago argued was worth paying for “freedom”), they’re blaming oil companies for profiteering. Wednesday, as the national average hit $5.014 (nearly two dollars higher than last year), Joe Biden sent letters to refining companies threatening to once again abuse his executive powers if they do not immediately alleviate high prices—a political appeal to the imaginary “greedflation.”

President Joe Biden says that his top domestic priority is helping Americans weather a surge in prices the likes of which haven’t been seen in four decades—but the president’s actions leave more than a little room to question his commitment.

On Wednesday, for example, Biden fumed about how gas and oil companies are seeing “historically high profit margins” as prices at the pump have climbed to a national average of over $5 per gallon. Biden threatened to invoke the NDA & use “all reasonable and appropriate…tools and emergency authorities” to force gas companies to increase refinery capacity and output.

There’s widespread agreement among economists that higher profits are not what’s driving inflation—something even Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen acknowledged last week. Biden blaming “Big Oil” for inflation in gas prices makes as much sense as Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D–Mass.) blaming grocery stores for higher food prices. Or, for that matter, as much sense as Biden blaming oil companies for higher gas prices…in November of last year. This trick has already been tried and it already failed.

Biden can’t flip a magic switch to increase the gasoline supply or otherwise bring down prices at the pump. Expanding the available supply supply of crude oil or the capacity of refineries takes time and money—and those investments are less likely to happen as long as the federal government’s long-term energy policies are aimed at reducing the role of fossil fuels in the economy.

Biden, who promised a “100% clean-energy economy” with “net-zero emissions” in a couple of decades, now demands energy companies, already at utilization rates above 90 percent, invest tens of billions more in new drilling infrastructure, when everyone knows that tomorrow, when prices recede, Democrats are going to go right back to passing laws and regulations that undercut their business. Today, Democrats demand CEOs spend more, tomorrow they will promise to “hold oil executives accountable” and drag them in front of congressional committees where they will be scolded by economically illiterate windbags.

That future is baked into today’s price. Because Democrats’ energy policy is a schizophrenic mess, oscillating from puerile to pernicious. You can’t spend decades working to undercut production and campaign on the promise of destroying an industry and then demand it turn on a dime when it’s politically convenient.

Democrats will argue that this is a unique emergency as prices have spiked to historic highs. Guess what? Energy prices will always be at historic highs when you create shortages, which is exactly what progressives have been advocating we do for years. Virtually every left-wing energy proposal in the past two decades, if not longer, has been designed to create false scarcity, either through fabricated marketplaces, stringent regulations, or by putting caps on production. This is what they wanted.  

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“No more drilling on federal lands” Biden promised during the 2020 presidential campaign. “No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period, ends, number one.” Not number two. Number one. “No more — no new fracking,” the president also said. Blue states across the country have either banned fracking, or are in the process of banning fracking projects.

And, on the first day of his presidency, Biden rejoined the Paris Agreement—an accord he is now working hard to break—revoking permits for Keystone XL, a 1,700-mile pipeline that was going to carry approximately 800,000 barrels of oil a day into the United States (also baked into the price). Biden signed a slew of executive orders prioritizing climate change over energy production, halting oil and natural gas leases on all public lands. When a court blocked him, the Biden administration appealed the decision, even as indications of an energy spike were clear. 

Rather than threatening price controls, the president should just rescind all his executive orders.

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Of course, until some new technology is devised, implementing any policy that resembles the Green New Deal—the plan Biden says is the “framework” for his own efforts on “environmental justice”—would hold approximately the same economic consequences as having coronavirus economic shutdowns for 30 years straight. That’s merely if we followed the IPCC recommendations on carbon emissions. Last year, with inflation already looming, Biden preached that it was a “moral imperative” to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030 and 100 percent by 2050. That’s a policy that will have us fondly reminiscing about $5.00 a gallon.

Biden is still focused on scapegoating the blame for inflation on oil companies, the Russian war in Ukraine, and other factors. It might be an interesting academic exercise to debate how much of the current inflation was caused by various factors—including the American Rescue Plan, which dumped $1.9 trillion into the economy but somehow always managed to escape Biden’s scrutiny.

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Energy policy can’t be capriciously implemented and then abandoned every time the Democrats’ poll numbers flail. This is just a little taste of the Green New Deal. There is no sentient being that could accept the notion that Democrats are the party that is in favor of abundant fossil fuels. Hopefully the price – even in small measure — for their green policies is so politically severe that they will moderate. Because we all have unattainable dreams.  ✪

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