US crude oil prices are firmly above $120 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange. A growing number of market analysts and Wall Street firms are expecting the West Texas Intermediate (WTI) and Brent contracts to climb as high as $150 – some options traders are betting on $200 oil by the end of the month. This has impacted Americans’ wallets severely as the national average for a gallon of gasoline is north of $4, while food prices are climbing higher. The consensus among energy leaders, including Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk, is that the United States and the rest of the world need to begin pumping out more crude and natural gas. But President Joe Biden is choosing to dig his heels into renewables and outsource America’s power needs to foreign markets at the expense of the public and economic growth.
No Oil for You!
Despite installing an embargo on Russian oil imports, the Biden administration confirmed once and for all that it will reject increasing domestic production, insisting that the only solution to ditching dependence on foreign oil is to accelerate green energy. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters during a press conference on March 7 that the president will do “everything he can to reduce the impact on the American people, including the price of gas at the tank.
A new Rasmussen Reports survey found that 70% of likely US voters believe the federal government should encourage a boost to oil and gas output to diminish the nation’s dependence on foreign sources. Only 18% oppose this policy proposal, while 12% are unsure. For now, it appears the administration will ignore the will of the people and choose to rely on authoritarian and despotic regimes for energy.
Biden advisers are paying a visit to Saudi Arabia on their hands and knees to urge the Kingdom to expand oil production, months after pleading with the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to increase production. The cartel dismissed this request twice. Moreover, administration officials have recently held face-to-face discussions with the socialist Venezuelan government about possibly easing crude sanctions. This comes as the Oval Office has been negotiating a new nuclear agreement with Iran that would lift sanctions and allow Tehran to dump tens of millions of barrels of crude into global energy markets. The desperation emanating from Washington would present the Iranian government with a clear advantage.
In addition to conversing with brutal and oil-rich regimes, Biden has halted new oil and gas leases on federal lands and paused a federal drilling program. He also tapped into another 30 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserves (SPRs), which would be enough for about two to three days’ worth of power. A year ago, one of the president’s first acts was to put the kibosh on the Keystone XL pipeline that would have provided relief to today’s soaring prices. The province of Alberta in Canada has even offered to replace US imports of Russian crude if the federal government approved Keystone.
“We could discuss how to ship nearly 1 million barrels of day of responsibly produced energy every day from the USA’s closest friend and ally! All it would take is his approval for Keystone XL. Easy,” tweeted Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
On the energy front, a chief principle of Bidenomics is outsourcing America’s energy needs and discouraging US oil and gas firms from producing more barrels to tame the meteoric price growth.
Doubling Down on Green Energy
Speaking in an interview with MSNBC, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg essentially said the quiet part out loud: that the administration does not want to enact a “permanent solution” for gasoline prices that are approaching record highs. During a news conference, Buttigieg also suggested that the alternative to pain at the pump is to purchase an electric vehicle, which comes with an average price tag of $55,000. If life were only that simple.
Under his watch, the current president ostensibly does not desire oil production to return to pre-COVID levels of 13.1 million barrels per day (bpd). Instead, he wishes solar and wind power generation to account for a more significant share of the national grid. This is one of the chief aims of the Build Back Better agenda, even if it causes harm to millions of Americans in this inflationary environment and throughout brutal winter storms.
Psaki reiterated the president’s position in a series of tweets, purporting that the best solution to be energy independent is to cease consuming oil, alluding to Biden’s billions of dollars in subsidies and aid to companies specializing in solar and wind technology. This has been the White House’s go-to response since President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Is This Oil’s Last Hurrah?
Green zealots are trying to realize their fantasy of achieving a zero-emission world by any means necessary. This means abandoning the American people, throwing billions at the renewables industry, and denying reality. If they do get their wish, this might mean that the demand for fossil fuels would have diminished significantly, causing worldwide energy markets to be awash in crude and sending prices lower. But this is nothing more than a pipe dream, considering that fossil fuels will remain a critical component of the global energy industry, something that many academics, industries, and public policymakers concede.
During the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, when oil fell below zero, it was believed that this was the end of fossil fuels. As always, rumors of crude’s death are greatly exaggerated. Oil is at $120 a barrel, natural gas is around $5, and coal is at $400. Fossil fuels are surviving and thriving, while solar and wind have proven to be ineffective over the last year. Could this intense bull run be emulated in the next decade? It will take a while for this one to subside. But if this is the last hurrah, the energy sources that have lit our rooms, kept our homes warm, and enabled society to flourish for more than a century are going out with a bang.
“Good night, Mrs. Calabash. Wherever you are.”
~ Read more from Andrew Moran.