President Joe Biden is trying to distance himself from soaring gas prices by blaming Russia and lying about his restrictive energy policies. Deflection and dishonesty — the two things at which Biden is best.
“It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production,” he told reporters Tuesday. “That’s simply not true. Even amid the pandemic, companies in the U.S. pumped more oil during my first year in office than they did during my predecessor’s first year."
That last claim from Biden is particularly insidious because it omits two material points. First, domestic oil production only decreased during former President Donald Trump’s last year in office because the COVID-19 pandemic shut everything down; second, domestic oil production could be higher, but instead, it has been steadily decreasing ever since Biden’s first day in office.
The decrease is no coincidence. Contrary to what the White House might say, the explicit purpose of the climate agenda Biden has spent the last year pushing is to rid us of our dependence on fossil fuels. To him and to most Democrats, that means less domestic oil and gas production.
Many of the policies this administration has passed prove as much. Just last month, for example, Biden’s Interior Department indefinitely halted new federal oil and gas leases after a court ruled the agency could not consider “the social cost of carbon” when making decisions on new drilling grants and leases. This is something he’s been trying to do for months despite objections from state leaders in Alaska and Montana.
Biden also proposed a budget last summer that would eliminate a slew of tax benefits for oil, gas, and coal production, which would make the process much more expensive.
And on his very first day in office, Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL Pipeline, which would have carried more than 800,000 barrels of oil per day into the country. A few months later, he encouraged a review of another proposed pipeline replacement project in Michigan that would guarantee another 540,000 barrels a day. His environmental regulations also shut down a key oil refinery.
Again, this was all deliberate. Last April, Biden admitted that his administration wants to phase out coal, gas, and oil energy production. He said workers in those industries should simply find different jobs. “Lineworkers,” “electricians,” and “utility workers” could start “laying transmission lines connecting battery storage and making the grid more modern,” he said. “Automotive workers” could start “building electric cars, trucks, and buses,” the president continued.
For Biden to now claim that his policies and rhetoric have had no effect on the soaring energy prices we are now experiencing is both absurd and insulting. He helped create this crisis, and now he must own it.