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Running on Empty


If there is one thing the Biden Administration excels at, it is blaming everyone and anything to avoid taking responsibility. Its favorite thing to do is play the blame game. When it is clear that out-of-control government spending is causing the highest inflation we have seen in 40 years, President Biden blames the supply chain. When it is clear the supply chain crisis has been caused by government policies that discouraged work, President Biden blames the American people for buying too much. Meanwhile, the cost of food, gas, and medicine continues to rise. 

Biden’s latest whopper is that Vladimir Putin is to blame for our high gas prices. He even recently began to refer to the pain Americans are feeling at the pump as “Putin’s price hike”. The president has enlisted social media influencers to help spread this disinformation. Here’s the truth: gas prices were rising on Biden’s watch well before Putin’s invasion, and the policies this administration has pursued since Day One in office left us vulnerable to the latest price spike.

Let’s look at the facts. This time last year, during President Biden’s first months in office, the national average price for gas was $2.87 a gallon. Compare that to a month ago, before Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, gas prices had risen to $3.54. Today, the national average is well over $4.00. The American people know these price hikes did not happen overnight or even over the last month. The evidence has been in their paychecks, which are worth less and less each month. 

How has the Biden administration caused higher gas prices? Rather deliberately. On his first day in office, Joe Biden signed an executive order to cancel construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have been able to transport 830,000 barrels of oil per day into the United States. Last year, America imported an average of 672,000 barrels per day from Russia. Even before Biden revoked the permit for Keystone XL at the start of his presidency, he served as Vice President for six years while the Obama Administration did everything in its power to slow down construction of this pipeline, aided by radical environmentalists whose only goal seems to be bankrupting the working class.

He signed another executive order to halt oil and gas development in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska – something I was proud to work on and achieve with President Trump. This area is estimated to be home to over 11 billion barrels of oil, but the Biden Administration has paused the drilling – and is clearly searching for every legal avenue possible to cancel the leases granted there altogether. It is one of the most high-profile examples of the president intervening against legally-approved leases for oil and gas drilling.

Despite his previous pledges to his wealthy, radical environmentalist base to put America on a path to shutdown America’s oil production, President Biden now wants people to believe that he has been a champion for oil and gas development – a laughable assertion. He cites a talking point that over 9,000 permits have been approved for drilling on federal land. But this ignores the fact that among his first actions as president was to sign another executive order to block new leases on federal lands – an order that was only overturned because 13 states sued the Biden Administration and won. And even with new permits being approved, gaining a permit is only the first step. The next step is years of government red tape and burdensome bureaucratic reviews. Not to mention the inevitable lawsuits from those same radical environmental organizations who are determined to stop these leases at all costs. It can take months or even years under the best of circumstances for a lease to go from discovery to production. Oil and gas exploration means taking on risk, and with an Administration hostile to the industry, the risk becomes even greater. 

The Biden Administration is also taking actions that will drive up the cost of oil and gas well into the future. For instance, the administration has tried by executive rulemaking to increase the costs of lease sales by increasing its estimate for the “social cost of carbon” over seven times, which would make oil and gas production far more expensive. It is just another sign of how the Biden Administration plans to abuse federal rulemaking to make the cost of oil and gas so expensive that the working-class cannot afford it. Meanwhile, they continue to shower the wealthy who drive electric vehicles with lavish subsidies and charging stations wherever they want to go. It is shameful and infuriating.  

Make no mistake: the Biden Administration is hostile to American energy and American energy independence. These actions have consequences, and the result is that America is now projected to be a net importer of petroleum in 2022. How is making America dependent on foreign energy a good thing? The President can claim others are at fault, but the facts speak for themselves and the American people know the truth. President Biden has only himself to blame for our energy crisis. 


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