In a move that could have come out of the 1980s, President Joe Biden called on OPEC+ to increase oil production to meet the increased demand of the global recovery. He knows that the fragile recovery needs to continue to have any chance of slowing the rampant inflation in the US, but he also knows that these countries are attempting to recover the funds that they lost from their economies during the COVID slow down.
What he does not seem to know, or maybe he does and does not care, is that he is in this position because of his own policy decisions.
President Biden's early days included reversing Trump's permits to drill for oil in the massive Alaskan oil fields, halting all new fracking permits, reviewing all current fracking permits, and canceling the Keystone-XL Pipeline that would have pushed over 800 barrels of oil into the gulf coast refineries every day.
He had energy independence on day one, but he turned around and gave it up. Now he is dependent on other countries for oil again, and he is the one left begging them to do what is best for us and not for them.
That has never worked in the past, it will not work now.
If the United States were still energy independent none of this would matter. OPEC+ could cut their production and the nations to suffer would mainly be India and China. We would not have to worry about OPEC's production because we would still be exporting oil. In fact, we would have benefitted from OPEC+ reducing their production by having more the world purchase our oil.
That would have been a huge boon to an already flagging economy. Yet the economy does not seem to worry Joe Biden at all.
For over half a century, and not far from a century, we have depended on foreign countries to produce the oil that we need. We have been at their mercy for our transportation, energy production, and military readiness. Trump's energy independence was a major accomplishment and it left the US in a position where we were no longer vulnerable to OPEC and its + members.
Now, however, Biden is attempting to blame OPEC+ for cutting production as evidenced by national security adviser Jake Sullivan saying about their production, "At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough."
Not enough for whom? It most definitely is enough for them. The higher prices are helping them to recover the catastrophic damage done to their economies when COVID drove oil prices down into the $15 per barrel range. Now they're up over $70.
Why would they want to give that up? Especially when they still have more money to recover?
Sullivan also said, “We are engaging with relevant OPEC+ members on the importance of competitive markets in setting prices, competitive energy markets will ensure reliable and stable energy supplies, and OPEC+ must do more to support the recovery.”
Again, why should they? They are responsible for their countries, their citizens, and helping their people to recover. They have no vested interest in helping the US recover, or Europe for that matter. Their only goal is to refill the coffers of their nation that were emptied by COVID, and by destroying our ability to be self reliant, we have placed ourselves, by choice, right in the palm of their hand.
“The president recognizes that gas prices can put a pinch on the family budget,” said a senior White House official, who asked not to be identified to speak candidly about the issue. “He’d like his administration to use whatever tools that it has to help address the cost of gas, to help bring those prices down.”
Whatever tools? Really?! Except, he already had those, and he gave them up.
How about re-approving the drilling permits in Alaska? How about re-instating the Keystone-XL pipeline? How about re-approving the fracking permits and fast tracking the new ones?
Oh wait, by whatever tools he meant whatever tools do not actually achieve energy independence. He means whatever foreign pressure we must use to take it from someone else instead of producing it ourselves.
Today's news was as inevitable as death, taxes, and the sun setting in the west. I called it when he took office (here and here), and I did not have to work too hard to do so. It was as plain as the nose on my face.
Mr. President, this is a mess of your own making. You made your bed, and now we have to lay in it.
Your pandering and lack of leadership has come back to bite us.
I only hope people remember it at the polls.