Biden’s oil policy, such as it is

The Wall Street Journal:

We thought we’d seen everything, but there it was Wednesday morning in black and white on the White House website: Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser, imploring the cartel of oil exporting nations to pump more oil. Talk about a political climate change. This is the same Biden Administration that has spent six months doing everything it can to crush U.S. oil production.

“Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic,” Mr. Sullivan’s statement said. “While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough.”

Someone pass the smelling salts to Tom Steyer, the climate crusader who surely fainted when he heard that one. Oil production is beneficial? Fossil fuels are essential to economic growth? The world needs more petroleum to be burned to release more CO2 into the atmosphere?

Perhaps Mr. Sullivan missed Monday’s U.N. report that the world will soon be as hot as Hades if we keep pumping oil. In a single, brief statement, he managed to contradict President Biden’s entire energy message as a candidate and in office. But as it happens, Mr. Sullivan wasn’t talking out of his hat.

On Wednesday Brian Deese, the White House economic council chief, wrote to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate oil-price fluctuations. This is a hardy perennial whenever White House officials fret that rising gasoline prices are becoming an issue. Blame “anti-competitive” practices. Perhaps Mr. Deese found the letter in a White House file cabinet. This means inflation is showing up as a bigger political problem in the polls than Democrats let on.

Allow us to help. How about asking Congress and your own regulators to take their foot off the neck of U.S. oil and gas drillers? Before the pandemic, the U.S. had become the world’s largest oil producer. Thanks to private innovation, the end of the U.S. oil export ban passed by the GOP Congress in 2015, and President Trump’s deregulation, America has had to import far less foreign oil. The U.S. reduced the strategic leverage of foreign producers such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

But since taking office, the Biden Administration has killed the Keystone XL pipeline to transport oil from Canada and the Bakken Shale to Gulf Coast refiners; canceled oil leasing in Alaska; suspended oil leases on federal land, even after a court ruled the moratorium illegal; increased fuel-mileage standards for cars, which favors electric vehicles; and invoked the Endangered Species Act as part of a strategy to reduce drilling on private land in the West. No doubt we’re missing something.

Someone should ask Mr. Biden, on his next stop for ice cream, why the President thinks oil produced by foreign dictators in Russia, Iran or Saudi Arabia is more desirable than oil drilled by American entrepreneurs.

Anyone who voted for Biden in 2020 voted for this, along with the inevitable energy prices-driven inflation we are now seeing.


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