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The highly traded and short-lived gas price reprieve did little to ease Americans’ financial woes this summer. Now that reprieve has officially ended 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 will not admit is that he is one of their own making.
When asked about OPEC+’s announced cuts, press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre responded that “oil and gas prices are going down.” I guess we shouldn’t believe our lying eyes and ignore our depleted pockets. While it’s an absurd and inept response, it’s not surprising. Faced with tight oil supplies and consistently high gas prices, the Biden administration has resorted to blame, distraction, and a host of political tricks, but has found no serious solutions.
The latest political stunt being considered includes banning or limiting the export of gasoline, diesel and other refined petroleum products. Such a move would deal a serious blow to our refining industry, hurt our allies abroad and drive up gasoline prices. Furthermore, it could undermine national security by pushing countries that currently depend on our exported products, including Latin America, to look to other countries like Russia or China to meet their energy needs. A study evaluating the impact of an export ban found that gasoline prices could rise by 15 cents a gallon in certain areas and could eliminate up to 120,000 jobs in two years.
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Another hack includes the continued release of crude oil 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 release of 10 million barrels for november. Historically, this asset was used for outages caused by natural disasters, not political disasters, but Team Biden has spent months depleting this strategic resource in an attempt to allay voter concerns about high-cost gas. This effort is also not working.
The realities of inflation and the high cost of gasoline remain top of mind as families struggle under the Biden economy. According to a Rassmussen poll, 87% of likely American 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 continues to worsen and they are taking note of the energy fallout in Europe.
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We do not have to speculate on the extent of future consequences associated with anti-fossil energy policy. They are literally playing between our European allies. Overreliance on inferior energy technologies like wind and solar, while becoming increasingly reliant 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 to become “a climate neutral society” by 2050. In 2018, President Trump directly warned European leaders of the looming consequences. .
Europe is now facing electricity prices that have increased by 400% along with widespread food shortages. Some European governments are considering power rationing and criminal consequences for anyone who sets their thermostat outside 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.
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While the current crisis is largely self-created, it has forced an energy reckoning in which even the greenest European leaders are rethinking their approach to energy and, perhaps most importantly, looking to the US for help. Therein lies the obvious solution to energy problems both here and abroad: US oil and gas.
If Team Biden put America’s interests ahead of climate fanatics for once, they could drive down gas prices and put America back on the safe side. We can and must comply.
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Fully utilizing US oil and gas at a time when demand is so high could also get us out of the current economic rut. Jobs and income are an obvious benefit, but such a move would be good for the global environment. The expansion of natural gas in the US is why we lead the world in overall emissions reductions. Compared to Russian gas, US gas is, on average, 41% cleaner. According to one analysis, exporting US natural gas to global markets could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.1 billion metric tons per year, a purported goal of the Biden administration.
There is a real solution knocking on the president’s door and he has the tools to deliver it.
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