On day one this president clearly stated his opposition to oil and gas production and development. The president’s words and even more so his actions, have serious impacts on the costs of commodities, including oil.
For example, in January of 2021, the president signed an executive order announcing a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on public lands. They only began selling new leases again in April of 2022 after prices had begun to rise rapidly, and the public pressure to do something about it was intensifying.
On March 28, 2021, the Treasury Department released its Green Book, proposing revenue measures to be implemented in 2022 for fiscal year 2023, including more than $150 billion in tax increases that will affect oil and gas.
On April 16, 2021, Biden directed Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to revoke 12 Trump-era policies promoting American energy.
These include SO 3349 on “American Energy Independence,” SO 3350 “America-First Offshore Energy Strategy” and importantly, SO 3355, “Streamlining National Environmental Policy Reviews and Implementation of Executive Order 13807, ‘Establishing Discipline and Accountability in the Environmental Review and Permitting Process for Infrastructure Projects,’” which would have streamlined the NEPA review process in order to allow energy projects to be developed in a more consistent and logical manner without arbitrary and capricious barriers put in place through the review process.
These are far from the only anti-oil and gas policies that this administration has implemented. My team at The American Energy Alliance has aggregated a full list of 100 ways Biden and the Democrats have made it harder to produce oil and gas. There have been more since. These actions show that the run-up in energy prices is certainly not the result of the war in Ukraine alone, but a reaction to the numerous policies that have been put in place by this administration.
When the president states that he would like to see the end of an industry, and puts policies in place to harm that industry, he can’t turn around and act shocked when the product of that industry becomes scarcer and more expensive. It’s a simple example of cause and effect.
Biden’s inflationary spending bills have had an impact on prices as well. As the money supply has grown dramatically, it has pushed inflation and helped drive up the costs of everything from wheat to aluminum, and oil prices are influenced by this just like any other commodity.
The one-two punch of an administration opposed to oil and gas development and rapid inflation across the entire economy have led to a rise in gasoline prices that simply cannot be explained by a single factor like the war in Ukraine or corporate greed.
Biden is getting exactly what he campaigned on, he just doesn’t like how the result is polling.
Tom Pyle is president of the Institute for Energy Research.
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