Now that most of you are able to get out and about more than you did during the lockdowns you may have noticed one unpleasant trend. Gas prices are rising again, and not just by a little. After nearly four years of bargain-basement gas prices and surging American energy production, gas lines have begun forming again in some parts of the country. There are a variety of factors leading to this, so the explanation for the phenomenon is complicated, but it still needs to be addressed. Yesterday, President Joe Biden decided to do something about it. So what’s the plan? He’s asking the OPEC+ nations, led by Russia and Saudia Arabia to do something to bring the price of gas back down. I know. (Daily Wire)
President Joe Biden called on a conglomerate of 23 oil-producing countries, led largely by Russia and Saudi Arabia, to increase oil production to combat rising fuel prices.
The White House released a statement by national security advisor Jake Sullivan on Wednesday calling on OPEC to boost oil production. Sullivan argued that high fuel prices are stunting the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic…
The White House statement appeared to have an immediate impact on oil prices. As The Wall Street Journal reports: “Brent crude, the international oil benchmark, fell 0.8% to $70.04 a barrel after the White House announcement. Oil prices have experienced volatility in recent days due to concerns over the Delta variant of Covid-19.”
Keep in mind that this is the same Joe Biden who shut down work on the Keystone XL pipeline on the day he was sworn into office. He’s also promised to further reduce oil exploration activity on federal lands and offshore. And let’s not forget his famous moment during the campaign when he suggested that people working in the fossil fuels industry should all learn to code.
But Uncle Joe also doesn’t want a bunch of unhappy voters watching their money disappear at the pump. Part of the statement the White House released yesterday said that Biden “wants Americans to have access to affordable and reliable energy, including at the pump.” That will come as news to his progressive base, I’m sure.
So Joe’s solution, rather than trying to reinforce our own production capabilities, is to go to the OPEC+ leaders with his hat in his hands and ask them to boost production. They actually have already scheduled a modest production increase because they monitor the demand cycle closely. But the President also may need to be reminded of the fact that OPEC+ was not created to maximize production. It was specifically created to limit production so that oil prices remain at profitable levels.
On top of that, our relations with both Russia and Saudi Arabia aren’t exactly in stellar shape at the moment. Vladimir Putin has shown that he’s not a member of the Biden Fan Club and the Saudis have been giving us some side-eye this year as well. It’s unclear what Uncle Joe can put on the table to produce a lot of cooperation on their part, though he did already move to help Russia move forward with their own pipeline while simultaneously canceling ours.
America finally became a net energy exporter before the pandemic hit. We don’t need to go to Russia and the Saudis like beggars if we want to bring down the prices of oil and gas. But that would require a sound, America-first energy policy. Don’t hold your breath waiting for that to happen, folks.