The dramatic rise in gas prices under President Joe Biden was entirely predictable given his attack on oil production since taking office.
Now, the White House is reportedly trying to make nice with domestic producers in hopes they can increase supply and thereby bring down the cost.
The price is the highest it’s been since 2014.
According to AAA, the national average price for a gallon of regular gas is $3.29, up from $2.18 during the same time period a year ago.
No doubt, some of the rise can be attributed to increased economic activity as the nation pulled out of the pandemic.
However, a slew of decisions by the Biden administration has also put upward pressure on the price of crude.
Do you think Biden’s policies have caused gas prices to rise?
Recall the executive orders the new president issued on his first day in office alone, which included canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and halting oil exploration on federal lands just as the U.S. had reached energy independence during the Trump years.
In June, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland issued an order ceasing all oil exploration activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Preserve, which had been greenlit as part of the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act signed by former President Donald Trump.
ANWR is believed to hold over 10 billion barrels of untapped oil reserves.
One barrel of oil refines to about 20 gallons of gasoline, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
All of Biden’s actions, of course, sent a signal to the oil market that the United States, which became the top producer in the world in 2018, will be delivering less in the months and years ahead.
“Crude oil prices have doubled since November to $83 per barrel, and petro-states want to maintain higher prices to fund their governments,” The Wall Street Journal editorial board noted.
“But U.S. producers have also been slower to revive output as the Administration is threatening the oil and gas industry with a panoply of taxes and regulation. Producers aren’t going to drill more wells today, even at today’s higher prices, if they don’t think they will produce future profits.”
The White House appears to be finally taking notice, probably spurred on by the president’s falling poll numbers, including on his handling of the economy. Fifty-five percent disapprove of Biden’s performance in that regard in the latest Quinnipiac poll.
“Biden’s national security adviser, Jake Sullivan, met in Saudi Arabia with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman,” Reuters reported late last month, and Sullivan raised the issue of rising oil prices.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki later told reporters the administration will “continue to speak to international partners, including [the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries], on the importance of competitive markets and setting prices and doing more to support the recovery.”
U.S. imports of crude oil from Russia are also up significantly in 2021 compared to any of the years Trump was in office, according to the Energy Information Administration.
Becoming more dependent on Saudi Arabia and Russia certainly does not seem like a good development for America’s energy security.
“The White House has been speaking with U.S. oil and gas producers in recent days about helping to bring down rising fuel costs, according to two sources familiar with the matter,” Reuters reported Wednesday.
Psaki could not confirm the meeting took place, telling reporters, “I’m actually not aware of any contact with oil and gas companies around this particular issue.”
If Biden is serious about getting gas prices down, here are a few ideas that might help: Greenlight the Keystone XL pipeline, restore Trump’s policies regarding exploration for oil and natural gas on federal lands, don’t raise taxes and regulations on energy producers and stop devaluing the currency with massive new rounds of deficit spending.
Do these things, and the economy will fully recover — and the price of gas will come down.
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