Democrats refuse to do what it takes to bring down costs at the pump, and if you’re confused as to why, you’re missing the point. The left avoids so-called “permanent solutions to immediate short-term problems” because letting that Texas Tea flow would be kicking against the goads. They don’t want to end high gas prices; they want to end gas.
During an appearance on MSNBC’s The 11th Hour, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg called authorizing the Keystone Pipeline “galloping after permanent solutions to immediate short-term problems.” He followed up with, “The president has laid policies that are going to help cushion the impacts of any volatility in energy markets in the future by building up more of a diversified and homegrown energy base for this country.” What all that might entail remains unclear, though he did mention the strategic reserve, which, he explained, “exists partly in order to respond to situations like this.”
Meanwhile, Democrats – and one Republican – in the House of Representatives killed an attempt to shake the dependency on Russian oil. The American Energy Independence from Russia Act would have reauthorized the Keystone XL pipeline, increased how much natural gas can be produced, and allowed more drilling both on land and in the Gulf. Aside from Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-FL), who worried it would get in the way of offshore weapons testing, only Democrats opposed it. But the Dems hold the House, so the bill died.
Real Problems, Real Solutions
Despite Buttigieg’s warning about “permanent solutions,” the left-wing media is currently full of claims the pipeline wouldn’t help in this situation. Whether it would or not, President Biden’s energy policies do not seem to be helpful – and a look back in time shows America’s pain at the pump didn’t begin in Ukraine.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration tracks the national average gas cost per gallon. The records show that while the low points were pretty close across the Obama and Trump presidencies, the highest prices during Trump’s tenure were a dollar lower than the highest peaks while Obama was in office. Biden only has 13 full months in office, but his monthly averages are considerably worse than either predecessor so far. While President Trump averaged $2.47 a gallon, Obama averaged $2.96 and Biden a whopping $3.11 so far. Under Biden, Americans are paying, on average, a dollar more a gallon than when he took office, and the line has been a fairly straight ascent, with just one brief dip of around a quarter a gallon in January 2022.
There are more factors than just federal energy regulations at play, and some might be tempted to blame inflation. However, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the Consumer Price Indexes maintained a reasonably constant ascent through all three presidencies – though the slope gets considerably steeper beginning summer of 2020.
While the average fuel prices didn’t match the general inflation chart, there was another quantifiable measurement that did seem to move in tandem: American imports of Russian oil. President Obama averaged 194.77 million barrels a year – roughly 28 million more than Trump’s 166.6 million. Biden only has 2021 to show off, but his 245 million barrels – 78.56 million more than Trump’s annual average and 47.47 million more than his worst year – is truly impressive.
A Difference in Goals
Buttigieg’s remark on MSNBC reveals that the administration knows ramping up domestic production would, in fact, be a long-term solution – but progressives don’t necessarily want what everyone else does. While most people – including those on the far left – would love for their dollars to get them farther down the road, building pipelines and increasing domestic drilling and fracking moves the nation toward consuming more oil, not less. For Biden and the green progressives in his party, eliminating fossil fuel consumption entirely is the goal, no matter how bad EVs may be for the environment or America’s economy.
~ Read more from James Fite.