President Biden finally banned imports of Russian oil and natural gas, but it was tragic that he once again missed an opportunity to bring the great American oil and gas industry back into White Houses good graces.
The president had a chance to tell the American companies that we need them to open the spigots full-throttle in order to provide us with abundant and affordable energy, and to show the world that America is energy independent and does not need oil from Russia or any of our dictatorial adversaires, such as Iran and Venezuela.
Mr. Biden could have been open arms and generous. Instead, he was his usual mean and nasty self, launching a bizarre, radical-left attack on our fossil fuel industry that included charges of price gouging and excessive profitsall without one whit of evidence.
The trouble is, Mr. Biden doesnt understand free-enterprise capitalism. He much prefers big-government socialism, and he continues his jihad against the great American fossil fuel industry.
The entire country has other ideas: Polls consistently show that Republicans, independents, and even Democrats believe we need to ramp up oil and gas production. Its common sense.
First, energy independence would stick it to Vladimir Putin and his war machine finances. Second, energy independence would help Americans, offering affordable prices due to abundant supply.
Instead, Mr. Bidens zealous left-wing, green new deal ideology leads the president, Vice President Harris, Secretary Buttigieg, and others to proclaim that its electric vehicles that will restore energy independence and defeat Vladimir Putin.
Now, even Elon Musk, king of electric vehicles, has said we have to produce more oil and natural gas.
By the way, Mr. Biden could have extended an olive branch by commending oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell for self-sanctioning against Russian oil and oil trading. And while Mr. Biden took a poke at Wall Street, the fact is the vast majority of oil and gas lenders are also self-sanctioning. Mr. Biden doesnt have a unifying or generous bone in his body.
Thats one of his problems. Then theres this business about 9,000 oil leases, which is just a red herring distraction. Because you need government approval to get permits to actually develop land, you have to find out if theres any oil and gas under the land, and you need more permits to transport the energy, including for pipelines.
Whats happened is, the Biden administration has not approved a single new onshore or offshore lease sale. Zero.
Six applications for new LNG export operations have been frozen by the Department of Energy. The Interior Department has put a freeze on leases on federal land. The EPA is frothing at the mouth over this nonsensical social cost of carbon. This phony metric tries to capture all the possible harm from CO2 emissionsupstream, downstream, globallyover three centuries, according to the Wall Street Journal. Yes, three centuries.
Not even Im gonna be around that long, and neither will any of these EPA estimators. I mean, how dumb is this? We all know, though, its just a method to prohibitively raise costs and stop oil and gas drilling, production, and pipelines. So no wonder the industry is doing less than it could. Mr. Bidens jihad against fossil fuels has deterred capital investment, and who can blame these companies?
The actual Russian imports are running at about 650,000 barrels per day, only about 200,000 of which is used for gasoline refining. The rest is for distillates. I think energy markets have already discounted this, but experts say without Mr. Bidens regulatory war, the U.S. oil industry could get back to 13 million bpd in the months ahead. Currently its 11.6 million bpd. Just before the pandemic it was more than 13 million.
Mr. Biden says theres record productionhe compared it to 2017and he was just flat wrong. Were about 1.5 million bpd short of the prior peak in early 2020. Why did he say 2017?
Why not bring up Papa Bush? Why not Jimmy Carter? Why not Richard Nixon? I bet were producing more barrels than they did. The answer is: Mr. Bidens a big phony spreading falsehoods.
If we can hurt Vladimir Putins war machine by denying Russia at least some financing through the import ban, Im fine with it. Absolutely.
If Mr. Biden were a mensch, aka a good president, hed call a summit of all the fossil fuel people and all the renewables people, and map out an all-of-the-above energy policy that would help all Americans, improve our national security, inject some common sense into this discussion, and rid himself of all these left-wing climate zealots.
Thats what a first-class president would do. This is not a first-class presidency.