What’s the solution to reducing our carbon emissions while keeping gas and electricity affordable for Americans? According to President Joe BidenJoe BidenStudent debt: It's the interest stupid US maintains pressure on Russia amid concerns of potential Ukraine invasion To stabilize Central America, the US must craft better incentives for trade MORE, it’s turning to countries like Russia, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela for gas.
As if lifting the sanctions from the Nord Stream 2 pipeline and opening the door for Russian energy dominance in Europe wasn’t enough, Biden is now giving us a glimpse into what America’s energy future entails: Adopting aggressive climate and energy policies domestically while relying on foreign countries to cushion the consequences.
Earlier this week, Biden finally acknowledged (through an anonymous White House official) what Americans have experienced for months: that gas prices are out of control. But instead of taking steps to boost our domestic production, Biden is turning to foreign leaders (our oil production competitors) and asking them to do it for us.
National Security Advisor Jack Sullivan released a statement calling on “OPEC+” (which is made up of the 13 Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries as well as 10 other countries, including Russia) to boost oil production to “offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022.”
This was far from surprising. Since taking office, Biden followed the lead of climate activists by demonizing natural gas and fracking, failing to acknowledge that the fracking boom of the early 2000s led to the U.S. becoming a net total energy exporter in 2019 and 2020 for the first time since 1952. Not only did this boost our national security, but it also lowered prices at the pump and reduced our emissions by replacing coal with natural gas as our lead energy source. On day one, however, Biden reversed this progress by pausing new oil and gas leases on federal land and killing the Keystone XL pipeline.
Then came the pandemic, making the energy crisis worse. Lockdowns reduced demand for gas, and gas prices plummeted. In response, OPEC nations reduced supply to help boost prices back to their previous levels. But with Americans now returning to normal life, gas prices have gone through the roof and are reaching levels not seen since the Obama years.
Instead of reversing course and recognizing the costs of cutting domestic production, Biden is once again putting America last by already making us more dependent on other nations for affordable energy. Not only does this weaken our national security, but it also results in higher emissions since this oil needs to be imported by boat instead of being produced domestically.
This cry for help signals that Biden is likely waking up to the threat his policies are posing to his political future. While his administration has been busy making climate and energy proclamations as if we’re a country with a flourishing economy, inflation has been running rampant and the price of gas alone has increased by 40 percent since January.
By asking OPEC+ countries to pump more crude oil, he’s hoping to lower gas prices for Americans. But by refusing to increase any domestic production of oil, he’s appeasing the far-left environmentalists in his party.
But Biden can’t please everyone. Climate activists will argue that we must make more sacrifices to reduce emissions and save the planet. If that means higher energy prices (like those sky-high ones in Germany), so be it. But the truth is, we don’t have to take such a hardline approach for a clean energy future. And in fact, blindly working to reduce domestic emissions, whatever the cost, isn’t going to have any real effect on the climate unless countries like China are on board, which is unlikely while the Chinese Communist Party is in power.
Biden needs to realign his priorities and put America first. Working to make gas more affordable is a laudable goal as Americans continue to struggle in a slowly recovering economy. But making our country weak and reliant on foreign powers is not helpful to our climate, our economy or our national security. If we were to boost domestic oil production, that would help American workers, pump money into the economy and help drive down gas prices.
Running to foreign powers to fix our energy crisis is a shameful solution for the Biden administration to pursue. Americans deserve a leader who will make decisions based on what's best for our country — not just what is politically expedient in the moment.
Charlotte Whelan is a policy analyst at the Independent Women’s Forum and a member of the Steamboat Institute’s Emerging Leaders Council.