Joe Biden’s speeches in which he laments the rise in gasoline, heating oil and natural gas prices as well as prices in general ring hollow when he blames everything from corporate greed to racism to Vladimir Putin’s attacks on Ukraine.
The naked truth is that Biden need only look in the mirror to find the culprit. On day 1 of his presidency, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline. This, along with subsequent decisions to cancel drilling in Alaska and on other federal lands, has taken 2-plus million barrels per day of U.S. oil, not to mention billions of cubic feet of natural gas, off the market.
The consequences of these policies are many, both domestically and internationally. Domestically, it should be obvious that the reduction in supply has led to the steep rise in gasoline and natural gas prices. In addition to engendering anger at every fill-up, the rises have led to increases in transportation and manufacturing cost, thus contributing significantly to the inflation that shows up in the supermarket.
Internationally, Biden’s policies also bear bitter fruit. Our proven enemies — Iran, Venezuela, Russia — happily sell more oil at higher prices. Both Iran and Russia use the windfall to shore up their militaries — Iran to develop a nuclear weapon and terrorize the world and Russia to fund its adventurism, currently against Ukraine. Later, who knows?
To solve (or mitigate) problems of his own making, Biden offers solutions that somehow seem brilliant to certain media types but insane to the rest of us.
To lower oil prices, he says, let’s a) Beg Russia and Middle East countries to produce more, b) open up our strategic reserves (that would be good for three days), and c) suspend the gas tax. All in all, these actions are proven to be about as effective as arming oneself with a flyswatter to stop a herd of stampeding elephants.
Internationally, Biden’s solutions are equally bold! To Iran, he takes away effective sanctions established by Trump and says, “We want to negotiate, so please be nice.” To Russia, he says, “I’ll punish you with severe sanctions” and then calls for sanctions that Russia ignores and doesn’t care about.
All the while, Biden ignores the one action that would really help both the domestic and the international situations: A complete reversal of his war on American energy — restarting the pipeline, opening Alaska, and opening other federal lands to exploration — within a few months would begin to drastically increase the world’s oil supply, leading to decreasing prices worldwide. This, clearly, would help to mitigate U.S. gasoline prices as well as consumer prices in general. More importantly it would significantly reduce the income of bad actors like Russia, thus inhibiting their capabilities to misbehave.
The above actions make so much intuitive and logical sense that I feel virtually certain that Biden and his “team” will reject them with little consideration. My conservative bones rejoice at that prospect as it looks like more discredit for the Democrats and a bigger red wave in November.
The “American” part of me, however, still wishes Biden would do what is best for the country.