Woke Cancel Culture media censorship and thought control has been a potent weapon for President Biden and Democrats, even on gasoline prices.
Having promised to end fossil fuel production and use in America, Mr. Biden immediately shut down the Keystone XL oil pipeline from Canada; halted onshore and offshore leasing; rejected drilling permit applications; launched “social cost of carbon,” “environmental justice” and “climate risk disclosure” programs; and pressured banks not to fund drilling and pipeline projects.
When a court ruled the leasing ban was illegal, the Interior Department waited ten months before saying it would hold one lease sale for a tiny speck of federal land. Any companies that might bid on those leases will then have to hope they can get drilling, road and pipeline permits, and make a profit while paying sharply higher royalty payments on any production, plus “windfall profit” taxes that some congressional Democrats are advocating, along with nationalizing U.S. oil companies.
Not surprisingly, production and supplies declined, and prices doubled. Regular gasoline shot from $2.11 per gallon on Election Day 2020 to $4.22 in March 2022.
Even President Biden said only 70% of the 70-cent price increase in March was due to Putin’s war on Ukraine. That means the other $1.62 ($2.11 minus $0.49) is all on Joe Biden.
And yet – echoing weeks of White House talking points and underscoring the power of Big Media and Big Tech – an April ABC/Ipsos poll found that 71% of Americans blame Putin for the increase in gas prices, and 68% blame oil companies.
Curiously however, the same poll somehow found that half of the same Americans blame Democrat Party policies and Joe Biden for their pain at the pump. And a March ABC/Ipsos poll tallied a 70% disapproval of the president’s handling of inflation and gasoline prices.
Fossil fuels are the backbone of the entire U.S. economy: 80% of its total energy. Every increase in fossil fuel prices drives the current 8.5% annual inflation rate ever higher – for everything we grow, make, buy, eat and do. Every increase kills more jobs, and reduces our health and living standards even further, especially for poor families.
Most Americans understand that. At some level, even the White House is catching on – which is why it’s finally taking a few modest steps to increase energy supplies. Those steps strike many as desperate, cynical, almost meaningless, and primarily intended to avoid an electoral bloodbath in November. But the president and his allies hope they’ll work.
Team Biden began by begging Iran, Venezuela and other dictatorships to sell America more oil. It’s urging Canada to send more oil – on rail lines and highways, through towns and cities, in tanker cars that are far more dangerous than pipelines per gallon carried. Restarting Keystone is still a nonstarter.
The president is also raiding the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, which is supposed to be utilized only in emergencies – and not the kind faced by House and Senate Democrats.
Most recently, the administration waived air quality rules, so that refineries can blend more ethanol into gasoline, creating E15 (15% ethanol) fuels, during the pre-election months. It claims this will save the average family 10 cents per gallon, out of that $1.62 Biden price hike. However, ethanol gets one-third less mileage than gasoline, so actual savings will be less.
More ethanol also means more corn will have to be planted on more acres that were formerly wildlife habitat lands or wheat fields. That will require more water, and more petroleum-based fertilizers, pesticides and fuels.
Amid sharply higher oil and natural gas prices, corn (and ethanol) will cost more; so will beef, pork, chicken, eggs and farm-raised fish, all of which depend on corn-based feed. Amid lost Ukrainian wheat crops and sanctions on Russian wheat, less U.S. wheat means wheat prices will also skyrocket, further harming families and international food aid programs.
And still, amid war and price turmoil, the Biden administration remains fixated on alleged manmade climate cataclysms. Indeed, the very day Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, climate czar John Kerry worried that Russia’s war could distract the world from “the climate crisis” and produce “massive carbon emissions” that will negatively affect Earth’s climate.
Two weeks later, ignoring emissions from his own private jets, Kerry said: “If you think migration has been a problem in Europe in the Syrian War or even from what we see now [from the Ukraine genocide], wait until you see 100 million people for whom the entire [global] food production capacity has collapsed” – due to climate changes that exist only in the world of computer models.
The Biden Administration, Congress and the American people need to start dealing with the real human crises we face right now, in the real world, and return to the simple, basic policy of unleashing America’s enormous energy potential – by getting the government boot off the neck of our oil and gas industry.
This article originally appeared at Real Clear Energy
- Craig RuckerCraig
- Rucker is a co-founder of CFACT and currently serves as its president.
May 1, 2022