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March 18, 2022

Gas Prices: Up Like a Rocket, Down Like a Feather

Biden’s latest shot at oil companies will stick if gas prices don’t decline with crude oil prices.

Joe Biden’s energy policies have succeeded in achieving one of his primary objectives — forcing fuel prices higher. He did so, as he noted in his State of the Union confab, to force you into electric vehicles. And he pledged to double down on those policies.

Indeed, yesterday, House Democrats blocked the “American Energy Independence from Russia Act” from any further consideration in order to protect Biden’s Russian oil smokescreen and Demos from midterm election losses.

For the record, the day Biden entered office he killed the Keystone XL Pipeline and prohibited by executive order a broad swath of additional oil exploration and production projects, appeasing the Left’s “climate change” radicals and ensuring we would soon be a net energy importer rather than a net energy exporter.

It worked.

The consequences or Biden’s policy objectives are clear. The national average for regular gas on January 20, 2021, Donald Trump’s last day in office, was $2.39. Six weeks into Biden’s rule, gas prices had already increased to $2.87. A year in, the price of a gallon of gas was $3.15.

All of that happened before Vladimir Putin launched his Ukraine invasion.

Clearly, the recent fuel price surge to $4.30 is related to concerns about oil supply disruption because of Ukraine. And, as I wrote earlier this week, Putin’s backing of leftist environmental groups, and likely a substantial amount of ChiCom backing for those groups through shell organizations, has also been a factor in keeping upward pressure on oil prices. That has been Putin’s strategy for years because more than 40% of Russia’s federal budget is funded by oil and gas sales, and fossil fuels account for almost 60% of its exports. The recent price surge certainly helped line Putin’s pockets and fund his attack on Ukraine, and leftist environmental activist groups are, in effect, helping fund Putin’s dictatorship by suppressing oil production in the U.S.

The “invasion surge” provided Biden an opening to blame Putin for gas pump shock. By extension, Biden also attempted to blame Putin for the inflation carpet-bombing of our economy since he entered office. His low-info voters and Leftmedia consumers will buy into some of that bogus blame-shifting.

But this week, Biden is taking a new tactic — and it is one that will resonate far beyond his low-info constituents. Every American whose family budget is adversely impacted by high gas prices will make this connection.

The price of crude oil has dropped precipitously as global markets balance concerns about the Ukraine invasion and disruption of oil supplies. The price today is $103 versus the $123 high 10 days ago. That does not mean there will not be another price surge tomorrow — particularly if Putin ramps up his Ukraine assault with the use of tactical nukes, which is a realistic concern depending on how cornered Putin perceives himself to be.

But for the moment, Biden is playing a simple math game. He declared two days ago: “Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too. Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon. Now it’s $4.31. Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans.” Though his oil price data was flawed, the Demos’ Leftmedia platforms dutifully trumpeted his demands.

There is an old adage regarding the relationship between crude oil increases and gas price increases: “Rocket and feathers.” It is a reference to the fact that, historically, petroleum product retailers increase prices like a rocket as crude prices go up, but drop them like a feather when prices drop. Part of the reason for that is that retailers can get burned with dramatic price fluctuations. But another undeniable reason for the price increase and decrease disparity is profitability. Biden will get mileage on this claim if fuel retailers don’t close the rocket and feather gap, and he could score some big points against oil companies.

Semper Vigilans Fortis Paratus et Fidelis
Pro Deo et Libertate — 1776

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