Pavlich: Biden's self-inflicted energy crisis

Pavlich: Biden's self-inflicted energy crisis
© Greg Nash

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, heating costs for American families will increase by 54 percent this winter, making it the most expensive in over a decade. Given President BidenJoe BidenManchin to vote to nix Biden's vaccine mandate for larger businesses Congress averts shutdown after vaccine mandate fight Senate cuts deal to clear government funding bill MORE’s statements on the 2020 campaign trail, where he launched a war on domestic energy production, this was entirely predictable. 

“The Biden campaign made a clear and unequivocal campaign promise to end fossil fuel leasing on public land,” Sierra Club Executive Director Michael Brune told The Washington Post shortly after Election Day.

Just hours after his inauguration, President Biden walked into the Oval Office and issued an executive order stopping construction on the Keystone XL pipeline. One week later, he followed through on promises made to halt new oil and gas leasing on federal land. The White House justified the moves as crucial to combating climate change. Currently, the administration is considering the shutdown of the L5 pipeline that runs from Canada to Michigan, which would further limit energy transport and supply. 

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Biden’s choice of Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash Symone Sanders to leave the White House at the end of the year Bidens to attend Kennedy Center Honors following Trumps' absence MORE, the most progressive member of the Senate, as running mate was also a precursor. After all, Harris endorsed the Green New Deal with socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezWar of words escalates in House McCarthy faces headaches from far-right House GOP Noncitizen voting doesn't pass this test MORE (D-N.Y.). They also co-sponsored the Climate Equity Act.

“It’s not about a cost. It’s about an investment,” Harris said about the push in 2019. 

The cost is here and Americans are paying the price. 

“I must tell you. I don’t have a near-term answer,” Biden said during a recent CNN town hall when asked about energy becoming more expensive. “It’s going to be hard.”

“That is hilarious. Would that I had the magic wand on this,” Energy Secretary Jennifer GranholmJennifer GranholmEnergy Department to seek feedback on voluntary nuclear waste facilities The massive messaging miscues of all the president's men (and women) White House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season MORE told CNBC, laughing out loud when asked what her plans were to increase oil production in the U.S.

Despite claims to the contrary from Biden administration officials, the White House can control energy costs. We know this because it’s been done before. 

In December 2018 and under President TrumpDonald TrumpBaldwin calls Trump criticism following 'Rust' shooting 'surreal' Haley hits the stump in South Carolina Mary Trump files to dismiss Trump's lawsuit over NYT tax story MORE’s leadership, the United States became a net exporter of energy for the first time in 75 years. 

“The shift to net exports is the dramatic result of an unprecedented boom in American oil production, with thousands of wells pumping from the Permian region of Texas and New Mexico to the Bakken in North Dakota to the Marcellus in Pennsylvania,” Fortune reported at the time. “The shale revolution has transformed oil wildcatters into billionaires and the U.S. into the world’s largest petroleum producer, surpassing Russia and Saudi Arabia. The power of OPEC has been diminished, undercutting one of the major geopolitical forces of the last half century.”

The OPEC cartel was finally broken and the United States had gained energy independence. As a result, energy was affordable for all Americans and the economy was thriving. Times have changed. 

Biden’s failure to take on the challenge to lower energy costs is part of a broader strategy to force Americans into alternative, United Nations-approved and Green New Deal-backed energy sources like wind and solar. 

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The left wants everyday Americans, John KerryJohn KerryKerry calls out countries that need to 'step up' on climate change Those on the front lines of climate change should be empowered to be central to its solution To address China's coal emissions, the US could use a little help from its friends MORE and Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaPolitics must accept the reality of multiracial America and disavow racial backlash To empower parents, reinvent schools Senate race in Ohio poses crucial test for Democrats MORE not included, to use fewer fossil fuels. When prices are high, oil and gas become unaffordable and therefore, people use less of it. The Green New Deal, endorsed by Democrats and the Biden administration, calls for the elimination of fossil fuels by 2030. One way to get there is to make it too expensive for Americans to buy or consume. The energy policies implemented by President Biden during his first year in office indicate the country is being put on that path. 

Politically, and with plummeting poll numbers, the White House has been grasping for someone to blame, prompting Biden to berate OPEC for rising costs. 

“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,” national security adviser Jake SullivanJake SullivanBiden to receive 'regular updates' about Michigan school shooting Biden administration resists tougher Russia sanctions in Congress GOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions MORE said in August. “Although we are not a party to OPEC, the United States will always speak to international partners regarding issues of significance that affect our national economic and security affairs, in public and private.”

The pleas for OPEC to pump more oil overseas have been embarrassing and ineffective. While single Chinese companies pollute more than entire countries, Americans are being told to throw on an extra sweater if it gets chilly this winter. The best Biden administration officials can do — and the president himself — is throw up their hands and essentially say, “deal with it.” 

Pavlich is the editor for Townhall.com and a Fox News contributor.