President Biden's insistence on halting fossil fuel output before alternative energy sources can fill the void is unacceptable.
A few months ago, I wrote about President Biden’s anti–fossil fuel policies. The president canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, banned oil drilling in the Arctic Wildlife Refuge, and severely limited the issuance of leases for companies to develop fossil fuel resources beneath public lands and waters, among other measures aimed at limiting domestic oil and natural gas production.
Gasoline, oil, and natural gas costs have all climbed sharply since then. As noted by one source, the last time natural gas prices were this high, “One-third of American households already had difficulty … adequately heating and cooling their homes—and one-fifth of households had to reduce or forego food, medicine and other necessities to pay energy bills.” Bank of America is predicting that the price of a barrel of oil may rise to $120 this winter, inflicting additional hardships on the poorest Americans.
Many countries throughout the world are already experiencing a full-fledged energy crisis. At a time when energy from so-called renewable sources (more appropriately, "intermittent" energy sources) has fallen significantly short of expectations, there are serious shortages of fossil fuels. Energy shortages in Brazil, China, India, Europe, and other nations have resulted in companies decreasing production, traffic signal outages, elevators in high-rise apartment complexes that don't operate, crucial ventilation systems in hospitals that don't work, and so on. More than ten thousand people might die in the UK this winter as a result of the cold weather in houses where families are unable to afford the high energy bills required to provide basic heat.Surely, with so many people in the US and throughout the globe in desperate need of energy, the Biden administration will relax its stringent limitations on fossil fuel extraction in the US? Unfortunately, no. Instead, Team Biden has ratcheted up its anti-energy rhetoric.
Team Biden left the recent United Nations climate gathering in Glasgow pleased that a plan has been put into place for the world’s major banks to restrict investment in companies that produce fossil fuels. The president also designated 1.7 million acres of federal land in Utah as a “national monument,” thereby putting that acreage off-limits to oil and gas exploration. The administration also is reportedly considering the possible shutdown of another major pipeline, the Enbridge 5, which moves a half million barrels of oil per day through Canada and Michigan. Biden’s recent nominee to be the country’s next comptroller of the currency, Saule Omarova, is on record as stating, “[W]e want [America’s small oil and gas companies] to go bankrupt.”
Perhaps most heinous of all, Biden's energy secretary, Jennifer Granholm, answered with a belly laugh when asked by a Bloomberg interviewer what her strategy was "to enhance oil output in America." She then deflected the subject by claiming that she lacked the power to force the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries raise output. (She doesn't, of course.) She is the US Secretary of Energy, not the Secretary of Energy for other nations.) In other words, Granholm has no intention of removing the barriers to domestic oil production placed by Biden.The president cynically demanded that the Federal Trade Commission look into oil firms that have boosted prices. Of sure, oil firms have increased their prices. When supply does not match demand in a market, this is what occurs. And what is one of the main reasons why supply isn't keeping up with demand? Anti-production measures advocated by the administration.
Even more cynically, the president's only move to reduce domestic gasoline costs has been to tap into the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserve. That stockpile was established in the event of a national emergency. Something like war, bad weather, or terror-related pipeline ruptures would be considered a "national emergency." The president's current "emergency" is his own dwindling popularity ratings.
President Biden's insistence on halting fossil fuel output before alternative energy sources can fill the void is unacceptable. If the approaching winter is harsh, the suffering that Americans and people across the world will face constitute a humanitarian disaster that might have been prevented if energy policy had been logical and humane.