By Royal Alexander
President Biden, traveling in Japan, made the stunning remark this week that high gas prices are the “incredible transition” Americans must go through to be free of fossil fuels. His comments have been widely interpreted as both justifying and praising sky-high gas prices.
Biden stated: “And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” said Biden.
This is a cruel callousness toward millions of Americans who suffer from the pain at the pump.
The national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline was $4.56 last Monday. The average price of diesel was $5.53. And with the summer driving season upon us, many economists expect the price of both may soon exceed the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour.
But this is all part of the madness of Biden’s devotion to the Religion of the Green New Deal. Higher energy prices aren’t the unexpected by-product of Biden energy policy, they are the goal.
Biden makes the feeble argument that his Administration has taken steps to prevent gas prices from going even higher by releasing 1 million barrels of oil a day from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve. However, this policy has had no appreciable impact on prices at the pump, but it depletes and weakens the Reserve in the event a real and urgent non-manufactured foreign policy and national security threat arises.
“Laughably, President Biden is set to announce the release of up to 180 million barrels of oil from our strategic reserves to counter surging energy costs,” said Joel Griffith, a policy expert at the Heritage Foundation. “But this is under 10 days’ worth of daily U.S. oil use. Meanwhile, this administration’s ‘war on energy’ continues – by including shuttering pipelines, closing off swathes of the nation to drilling, and even threatening oil executives with prison for providing the gasoline American business and families depend on.”
Second, Biden also deceitfully continues to blame Vladimir Putin and the war in Ukraine on high gas prices completely ignoring the fact that gas prices were surging long before the war began on Feb 24, and that the principal reason for high gas prices in America is the fact that the Biden Administration and federal law have suffocated and strangled the oil and gas industry in this country—prominently including our beloved Louisiana.
How so? Among many other examples, these price hikes follow the Department of the Interior’s cancellation of a recent oil and gas lease sale for over 1 million acres in Alaska’s Cook Inlet. DOI also canceled two Gulf of Mexico leases and has generally made the permitting process very difficult.
As the Wall Street Journal previously observed, “in the year since the Biden Administration froze new drilling leases on 26% of federal land and more than a third of the nation’s resources in productivity, the U.S. has been falling further from energy independence, putting national security at risk. (WSJ, Harold Hamm, 3-13-22).
The fundamental question remains—knowing as we do that energy security is national security—why would our government ever choose to be dependent on foreign nations (who often hate us) for our energy needs?
In Pres. Trump’s last month in office, Jan. 2021, America was producing more oil than it was consuming for the first time in 50 years and was exporting energy to the EU. The Trump Administration had made America energy independent, meaning we not only were providing for our own national energy needs but, in fact, had become a net exporter of energy to other nations who are also vulnerable to Putin through the consumption of Russian oil.
However, under the Biden Administration we’ve gone from energy independence back to dependence and are now reduced to begging Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, OPEC and perhaps even our archenemy, Iran, for oil. Why? Mostly to satisfy the green energy delusions of the Climate Change religionists. That’s an embarrassing and untenable position for the world’s only superpower to be in.
Again, the easiest and fastest way to provide hope to millions of struggling Americans and drive the domestic energy market up is for President Biden to announce tomorrow that we are going to reopen and re-invigorate the U.S. oil and gas industry. This includes repealing all so-called “green” regulations prohibiting the production and development of American energy.
We are not going to be able to be free of fossil fuels for decades if not generations. Renewable energy sources can’t come anywhere near meeting America’s energy needs right now. In the meantime, the self-inflicted harm the Green leftists are doing to our country is increasing the leverage over us of Russia, China, and Iran, making us vulnerable and compromised.
To paraphrase our addled president, I, too, am prayerfully hopeful that, “God willing,” an “incredible transition” away from this policy insanity and national security vulnerability will begin on Tuesday Nov. 8 at the midterm elections.