The highly marketed and short-lived gas price reprieve did little to alleviate financial woes for Americans this summer. Now, that reprieve is officially over and the international oil cartel, OPEC+, has announced deep production cuts of 2 million barrels per day. Leaked talking points revealed that the White House views this action as a “total disaster,” which is accurate. What Team Biden won’t admit is that it’s one of their own making.
When asked about OPEC+ announced cuts, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded that “oil and gas prices are coming down.” I guess we shouldn’t believe our lying eyes and ignore our draining pocketbooks. While an absurd and inept response, it’s not surprising. In the face of constrained oil supply and constantly high gas prices, the Biden administration has resorted to blame, distraction and a host of political gimmicks, but no serious solutions.
The latest political gimmick under consideration includes banning or limiting the export of gasoline, diesel and other refined oil products. Such a move would deliver a serious blow to our refining industry, harm our allies abroad and make gas prices go up. Additionally, it could undermine national security by pushing countries that currently rely on our exported products, including Latin America, to look to other countries like Russia or China to fill their energy needs. One study assessing the impact of an export ban found that gas prices could increase by 15 cents per gallon in certain areas and could cut up to 120,000 jobs over two years.
Another gimmick includes the continued crude oil release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which by the end of October will be at its lowest level since 1984. In response to the OPEC+ announcement, the Biden administration announced another 10 million barrel release set for November. Historically, this asset was used for disruptions caused by natural disasters, not political disasters, but Team Biden has spent months draining this strategic resource in an attempt to allay voters’ concerns with high-cost gas. This effort too is not working.
The realities of inflation and high-cost gas remain top of mind as families struggle under the Biden economy. According to a Rassmussen poll, 87% of likely U.S. voters are concerned about high gas prices, and, within that group, 57% are extremely concerned. Voters are right to be concerned as our state of energy vulnerability keeps getting worse and are taking note of the energy fallout in Europe.
We don’t have to speculate about the extent of future consequences affiliated with anti-fossil energy policy. They are literally playing out among our European allies. Overreliance on inferior energy technologies like wind and solar, while becoming increasingly dependent on Vladimir Putin – who wrote about using energy as a geopolitical weapon for decades – was an obvious recipe for disaster. Objective energy experts regularly raised concerns about Europe’s green energy plans and commitments toward becoming “a climate-neutral society” by 2050. In 2018, President Trump directly warned Europe’s leaders about the looming consequences.
Europe is now dealing with electricity prices that have increased by 400% alongside widespread food shortages. Some European governments are considering energy rationing and criminal consequences for anyone who sets their thermostat outside the approved temperatures as they prepare for a winter without Russian gas. Estimates suggest that the cost of heating homes will be seven times higher in Europe this winter and many will be forced to choose between heating and eating.
While the current crisis is largely self-created, it has forced an energy reckoning whereby even the greenest European leaders are rethinking their approach to energy and, perhaps most importantly, looking to the U.S. for help. Therein lies the obvious solution to energy problems both here and abroad: U.S. oil and gas.
If Team Biden would for once put America’s interests before that of the climate fanatics, they could drive down gas prices and put the U.S. back in a position to deliver life-saving energy to European allies that are looking to the U.S. for long-term energy security. We can and should deliver.
Fully utilizing U.S. oil and gas at a time when demand for it is so high could also pull us out of the ongoing economic rut. The jobs and revenue are an obvious benefit, but such a move would be good for the global environment. Expansion of U.S. natural gas is why we lead the world in overall emissions reductions. Compared to Russian gas, U.S. gas is, on average, 41% cleaner. According to one analysis, exporting U.S. natural gas to global markets could cut carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 billion metric tons per year, a purported goal of the Biden administration.
There is a true solution knocking on the president’s door and he has the tools to deliver.