Weekly Opinion Editorial
GREEN HAS BEEN PAINFUL!
by Steve Fair
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas in the United States rose to a new record last week- $4.48 per gallon. That is up $.15 from the previous week and $1.43 higher than the same day last year. In California, the average is $5.98 per gallon. In Oklahoma, it is $4.04.
From January 2021 to January 2022, crude oil prices increased 45%, blowing past records set in 2008. Gasoline and diesel prices are the highest on record since the Energy Information Administration (EIA) started keeping track in 1993. Natural gas prices are up 46%. Average household electricity prices haven’t grown this fast since 2008. Coal prices have ticked upward after years of policy-driven decline. Most of this comes after a series of orders by President Joe Biden to combat climate change.
Immediately after taking office, Biden issued Executive Orders(EO) cancelling the Keystone XL oil pipeline project and temporally suspending oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters. The administration had to resume issuing new leases after the EO was struck down in federal court, but the Biden administration has appealed. Three observations:
First, rising fuel costs impact everything. Prices of food, clothing, and every other consumer good is higher because of increases in freight. America’s freight rates have increased +43% in the past two years, primarily driven by fuel increases. Businesses must pass through those fuel costs to survive. That is a major reason consumers are seeing higher prices at their local grocers shelf.
Second, fundamental economics dictate the way out of high prices and high demand is increased supply. President Biden’s idea to increase supply has been to persistently reject allowing U.S. energy companies to ‘drill baby drill.’ Instead the Biden administration has been in negotiation with Venezuela to import oil to the U.S. Back in 2012, President Obama and then Vice President Biden said that America could not drill its way to lower gasoline prices, but U.S. energy companies proved them wrong.
Third, the path to becoming ‘green’ has been painful. President Biden is clearly committed to America becoming a nation that is not dependent on fossil fuels. Government subsidies(your money) to wind and solar power companies totaled $158 billion last year. Without those tax dollars those industries would be unprofitable. Shutting down the Keystone and stop drilling on federal land have been goals of the left for years.
Pushing Americans to buy electric vehicles doesn’t really make us green, because most electric power is coal (a fossil fuel) generated. It’s all about optics, not reality. Biden has blamed Putin’s invasion of Ukraine for the high prices at the pump. The truth is Biden’s failed energy policy is the problem.
Two things need to take place to help drive down inflation and high fuel prices. First, drill baby drill. America has enough oil and gas in the ground to supply our fuel needs. With the stroke of a pen, President Biden could open up drilling and within months, the supply issue would be solved. Second, the EPA needs to reduce the percentage of soybeans produced used to make biodiesel and the percentage of corn earmarked for ethanol. Americans are putting their food into their fuel tanks, resulting in higher food costs on products using soybean oil and corn.
Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm said, “The Biden administration’s failed policies on energy are not working and it doesn’t appear they intend to do anything different than what the president has stated repeatedly.” Hamm described Biden’s energy policy as ‘ridiculous,’ and said the administration has increased regulations on the energy sector.
Midterm elections are just four months away and Democrats can ill afford to have record inflation and historical prices of food and fuel. According to Project 538, Republicans already have a +2.3-point advantage over Democrats with the American people. That margin will widen further if Biden sticks to his failed energy policy and that will result in a bloodbath for Democrats in November.