President Joe Biden wants higher fossil fuel prices; he just wants you to forget that fact until after Election Day.
So, on Wednesday, Biden announced his plan for driving down gas prices — a plan that may have some small, temporarily effect, because that’s the only effect he wants it to have.
He may be fooling some voters — honestly, I doubt it — but one person who isn’t buying it is a former Keystone XL pipeline welder, Neal Crabtree.
“I don’t know how he gets away with keep saying that he doesn’t have anything to do with [rising gas prices] when they’ve got everything to do with it,” Crabtree told Fox Business after Biden’s announcement Wednesday.
“It’s not just Keystone,” he said. “Ever since Day One — I can name you dozens of other pipelines that we were expecting to build here in the last couple of years, and they can’t get the permits.”
Crabtree and hundreds of others were laid off almost immediately after Biden took the presidential oath of office, when the new president cancelled the federal permit to build the Keystone XL pipeline.
That project alone would have brought 830,000 barrels of oil daily into the U.S. from Canada, Fox said.
One can only imagine the downward price pressure that would have exerted on oil and gas prices once the crude began flowing. Instead, we have the opportunity to measure the actual change in gas prices from the latest release of 15 million barrels from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve announced this week — zero. As in, no change.
“We’re talking about fairly small potatoes here with putting 15 million barrels into the market, and I think the market was probably expecting that to happen anyway,” Jay Hakes, former Energy Information Administration head, told NPR this week.
Gas prices are top-of-mind for voters in next month’s midterm elections, of course. That means they’re top-of-mind for Biden and embattled Democrats throughout the country, too. There’s a lot of pressure for the administration to do something — or, at least, to look like they’re doing something.
“At a time when American energy can be a stabilizing force at home and abroad, we urge caution in continuing to rely on short-term efforts that are no substitute for sound long-term policies that enable American energy leadership,” American Petroleum Institute President and CEO Mike Sommers said in a statement responding to Biden’s announcement.
— American Petroleum Institute (@APIenergy) October 19, 2022
“Let’s debunk some myths here. My administration has not stopped or slowed U.S. oil production,” Biden said Wednesday. “Quite the opposite.”
Yeah, let’s debunk some myths here. Fox noted that daily “oil production on leased federal lands and waters” lagged pre-pandemic levels by more than a million barrels. Adding insult to injury, OPEC+ just announced a 2-million-barrel-per-day production cut, as well.
The drop in domestic production has not only driven gas prices higher; it’s also hurt American workers, Crabtree said.
“As far as my side of the industry, we’ve seen our man-hours cut almost — well, more than half. We got people that lost health insurance, they’re not getting retirement benefits, they’ve had to find different careers,” Crabtree told Fox Business. “When you’re 40, or 45 years old, starting over ain’t the easiest thing to do. You spent all your time building your skill set and then all of a sudden you’re making a minimum wage. It can change your life.”
“It ain’t just, you know, the canceling of pipelines,” he said. “It’s behind-the-scenes stuff — pressuring banks and lenders not to finance fossil fuel projects.”
“But the main problem that our industry is having is they’ve got such a stranglehold on the permit process.”
“I don’t know how bad they want the country to suffer before they realize that you can’t force everybody to go on green energy,” he added.
But that’s just the point — the Biden administration and the hardcore leftists who support it want the country to suffer. All of this is according to plan, as Matthew Continetti pointed out in an Oct. 7 column for The Washington Free Beacon.
“Biden knew what he was doing. The ‘clean energy transition,’ as [National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and National Economic Council director Brian Deese] put it, is among the top priorities of the Democratic Party. The transition involves hiking the cost of carbon-based energy to the point where renewable alternatives become affordable by comparison. You decrease supply of oil and gas until prices rise enough for the average consumer to search online for a Tesla.”
That’s why people in this administration keep saying things like, “people from rural to suburban to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV,” as Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg said earlier this year.
It sounds out of touch, but you don’t get to be the mayor of the fourth-largest city in Indiana by being out of touch, trust me.
Biden and Buttigieg want fossil fuels to be painful to your wallet — so painful that alternative-energy options become increasingly more attractive in comparison.
“Biden’s regulations and restrictions accomplished what he wanted: more expensive oil and gas,” Continetti wrote. “His problem is that voters do not want the future the climate Cassandras have in store for them.”
And that’s why Biden has to at least look like he’s taking some action on gas prices between now and Nov. 8. But those actions aren’t going to much, and over the long term, any downward pressure this administration actually puts on gas prices will vanish like Michael Avenatti’s presidential aspirations.
The difference is that we’ll actually miss the lower gas prices.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.