“I’m doing my part.”
President Joe Biden was talking this past week about gasoline prices. He praised himself while placing blame on supposedly greedy fossil fuel companies.
Oh, and Vladimir Putin. Again.
In his masterpiece “1984,” George Orwell describes a future in which Big Brother unleashes “The Two Minutes Hate.” It’s a daily ritual in which everyone rages against someone named Emmanuel Goldstein, an enemy of the Party. This vents social anger and solidifies support for the dictator, contrasted as a benevolent figure. Like “Lunch Bucket” Joe.
Every few days, the benevolent Mr. Biden unleashes the Two Minutes Hate against Russia’s Vladimir Putin in between spasms of rage against “white supremacy.” Even though inflation and gas prices began to skyrocket almost from the moment Mr. Biden took office, he thinks Americans will buy this.
Unfortunately for him, Mr. Biden’s record speaks for itself.
On his first day in office, he canceled the XL Keystone pipeline from Canada, which would have provided 830,000 barrels a day.
In his first week, he issued an executive order turning the Energy Department over to social justice warriors in service to the extreme environmental movement.
He announced a ridiculous goal of reducing US greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2030 and to have net-zero emissions by 2050. All with windmills and solar panels, sourced from heavily polluting Communist China.
He imposed a moratorium on oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.
He ordered the Environmental Protection Agency to wage war on fossil fuels, fulfilling a promise during the Obama/Biden Administration to put the coal industry, in particular, “out of business.”
On June 1, 2021, he announced a full-blown war on fossil fuel producers. This included repealing tax incentives for drilling, exploration and development. Plus, more taxpayer-funded subsides for electric vehicles.
In August 2021, as gas began topping $3 a gallon, Mr. Biden begged OPEC+ producers to pump more oil. He also pleaded with Marxist-run Venezuela, whose Cuban security goons are destabilizing the rest of South America.
In November, Mr. Biden sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan asking her to investigate oil and gas companies for price gouging. As gas starts heading toward $6 a gallon, Democrats are calling for “windfall profits” taxes on producers, which would raise prices at the pump even more.
On Feb. 24, 2022, Biden got a big break. Russia invaded Ukraine, adding to the crunch in world supplies of oil and gas. Now he had a foreign villain to blame.
In April, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland chided oil companies, saying they already had 9,000 unused permits, so, in effect, shut up about how we’re strangling you.
“What she wasn’t telling us was that those permits are the trash sites, the ones that companies avoid because of higher exploration costs and less assurance of return,” said a friend of mine who is an energy consultant.
Last month, as gas prices hit an average of $4.40, Mr. Biden’s Green Meanies were at it again. The Department of the Interior canceled millions of acres of potential oil leases off Alaska and in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re also holding up restarts for refineries that closed amid a COVID-related drop in demand.
Remaining refineries are now at near full capacity, a dangerous load. For similar Biden-caused misery, see “baby formula shortage.”
Back in March, touting a slight price drop, Mr. Biden said, “We’re going to keep at it to ensure the American people are paying their fair share for gas.”
Right. In 2008, President Barack Obama’s Energy Secretary Steven Chu said: “Somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in Europe.” Gas in Europe was about $8 a gallon. Mr. Chu must be ecstatic now. This is all on purpose.
When asked what hapless American consumers can do, Transportation Secretary Pete “Marie Antoinette” Buttigieg told them to buy an electric car.
As shoppers cringe with sticker shock, small businesses go under and the economics, the Biden team treats America’s own producers like an enemy.
“You’ve got diplomacy on Ukraine. You’ve got diplomacy with Iran. Now you’ve got diplomacy with Venezuela,” Tom Kloza of the Oil Price Information Service (OPIS), told the New York Post. “You know, it might be advisable to have some diplomacy with oil and gas companies.”
Instead, Mr. Biden boasts of an inconsequential release of oil from the national reserve and he asked
Congress to suspend the federal 18-cent gas tax for three months. Oh, and there’s the usual get-out-the-vote tactic floated of using taxpayer money for “free” gas cards.
Only the Democrats’ Free Stuff Army will be thrilled by any of this. Them and the ruling elites who are working to destroy America as we know it.
• Robert Knight is a columnist for The Washington Times. His website is roberthknight.com.