Joe Biden has moved from calling gas price spikes “transitory” to looking for a convenient excuse for why his administration sees prices continue to move upward. Predictably, he is looking for anywhere to lay the blame other than his economic policies.
Biden wasted no time upon assuming office in carrying out a radical leftist environmental policy. On his very first day, he canceled the federal permit for the domestic Keystone XL Pipeline. The pipeline was moving toward carrying over 830,000 barrels of oil each day from Canada to U.S. refineries.
Biden also immediately returned the U.S. to the Paris Climate Accord and has directed various federal agencies to cripple domestic oil and gas production.
The resulting reductions in American oil production and growing gasoline demand as the country emerged from the worst of the coronavirus pandemic have led to predictable outcomes. Biden has been quick to claim oil companies have been the cause of rising prices because of “anti-consumer behavior.”
Some part of the cause of gas price increases is due to reduced production by OPEC. For at least the last decade, American companies in the fossil fuel industry have subsidized consumers through considerable investments in domestic production. Those investments significantly increased domestic output but did not lead to immediate profits.
Saule Omavora, Biden’s controversial Russian educated pick for his Comptroller of the Currency, said that the U.S. should plan to “get rid” of the financiers of domestic oil and gas producers by “starving them of sources of capital.” The administration has already started pressuring lenders to reduce investments in oil and gas production in the name of climate change policy.
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently issued a report that puts climate change “squarely at the forefront” of federal financial regulations. The warnings coming from the administration to the oil and gas industry are clear.
The White House is now facing the political fallout of rising energy costs as cold weather approaches. In addition to gas prices, energy regulation contributes directly to the politically damaging consumer price inflation of 6.2 percent from last month.