Pavlich: Biden’s self-inflicted energy crisis
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 Biden’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.
Biden’s choice of Kamala Harris, 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-Cortez (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 Granholm 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 Trump’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.
The left wants everyday Americans, John Kerry and Barack Obama 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 Sullivan 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.