Record-breaking gas prices are a direct cause of President Biden’s assault on U.S. oil and gas. The cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline, regional drilling moratoriums, shuttered lease sales and new red tape, are just a few examples of the more than 100 actions his administration and allies in Congress have taken to restrict the production of oil and gas.
The fact that Biden’s restrictive policies have left consumers to deal with the consequences of demand outstripping supply is not surprising to anyone, except the president.
With record-low approval ratings, President Bident is looking for a scapegoat. While almost comical at this point, he continues to blame the omnipresent Vladimir Putin and corporate greed. This week, he has directed his ire towards U.S. oil refiners and sent them an outlandish, yet threatening, letter charging them with the crime of high profits and demanding they increase their output.
If only it were that easy.
Throughout the pandemic, the U.S. refining industry lost a total of 1.1 million barrels of daily capacity with the closure and transition of seven different refining facilities. The refiners that survived the pandemic have since had to endure over a year and a half of President Biden promising to make the products they produce obsolete. It’s no surprise that refining capacity has continued to shrink and is unable to meet current demand.
Building a new refinery or expanding existing facilities is not an immediate solution. Such an endeavor takes a long time and significant resources, thanks to increasingly costly and complex regulatory requirements.
Towards the end of the President’s letter, he calls for the industry to work with his administration and “bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis.” They have literally been trying to work with him and his political appointees from day one. In the process, the U.S. oil and gas industry has offered an array of concrete solutions well within the president’s power to implement.
Most recently, the industry’s largest trade association released a plan that lays out ten policies the president and Democratic leadership in Congress could take to unleash American energy and provide price relief to the American people.
As Biden is disparaging U.S. refiners and limiting production, he is gearing up for a trip to Saudi Arabia where he is expected to beg the OPEC Chair for more oil. Instead of working with the domestic industry, he’s looking to make a deal with a country he once described as “having no redeeming social value” and promised to make a pariah.
The U.S. oil and gas industry doesn’t need threats, they need relief from President Biden’s anti-energy policies. The president has the authority to deliver this relief which could immediately lower gas prices, but to date, he has proved unwilling.