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Douglas Andrews / November 19, 2021

Biden and Markey and Oil Malarkey

Gas prices keep climbing, and the Biden administration and its surrogates are desperately pointing fingers.

We’ll say this about Joe Biden: He doesn’t mess around.

Having spent the first 10 months of his presidency demonizing fossil fuels, banning drilling, killing pipelines, and then scratching his head in wonder while gas prices soared, he set himself to do something about it. Unfortunately for the rest of us, when Biden begged OPEC countries to step up their oil production, they told him to pound sand. Which, we suppose, is better than kicking sand in his face.

In any case, Joe Biden has some serious gas pains. But such is life for an American president when his approval numbers are in the toilet, and when such heavyweights as the sultan of Brunei and the president of Equatorial Guinea think he’s a laughingstock.

Undeterred, Clueless Joe went back to demonizing the energy industry. As The Wall Street Journal reports, he had his handlers draft a sternly worded memo:

President Biden called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether oil-and-gas companies are participating in illegal conduct aimed at keeping gasoline prices high, in the latest effort by the White House to respond to public concerns about costs for everything from fuel to groceries.

In a Wednesday letter to FTC Chair Lina Khan, Mr. Biden alleged that there is “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil-and-gas companies.” The president said gasoline prices had risen about 3% from a month earlier even as the price of unfinished gasoline, which hasn’t yet been blended with other liquids for use in vehicles, was down more than 5%.

Outside analysts expressed skepticism that the FTC would find enough evidence to substantiate Mr. Biden’s allegations, and they said the president has few options for quickly lowering gasoline prices.

Suhhh-wing and a miss. As Power Line’s John Hinderaker quips, “It takes an epic level of chutzpah for a president to do his best to suppress production of oil and gas by blocking pipelines and putting federal lands off limits, and then complain when the prices of oil and gas rise.”

Here’s an idea: Why not increase production ourselves? Soaring energy prices affect all of us, and not just at the pump. In the past year, gas prices have increased 60%, and crude oil prices have increased more than 100%, which means that just about everything — every product or service that requires energy to manufacture it and transportation to get it to the end consumer — costs more. And since we have abundant oil resources here at home, why aren’t we tapping into them?

The American Petroleum Institute, the industry’s top lobbying group, seems to agree. “Rather than launching investigations on markets that are regulated and closely monitored on a daily basis or pleading with OPEC to increase supply,” said the group’s spokesman, “we should be encouraging the safe and responsible development of American-made oil and natural gas.”

This makes sense to us, but not to hard-left Massachusetts Democrat Senator Ed Markey. “Right now,” he says, “oil companies are taking American consumers and shaking them upside down at gas pumps all across our country, while simultaneously sending a signal to the Republican Party to kill Build Back Better,” to blah blah bl-blah blah blahhh. “… If we’re afraid of Russia’s agenda right now, Saudi Arabia’s control over our foreign policy in the Middle East, there’s one sure and certain thing that we can do … and that is to make sure that we have both of those countries and others like them on a pathway to bankruptcy, because the oil era will be over if we pass this bill.”

Fellow Patriots, you heard it from Ed Malarkey: If we pass Joe Biden’s $4.9 trillion Build Back Better boondoggle, it won’t worsen inflation, and it won’t saddle our children with increasingly obscene levels of debt. Instead, it’ll bankrupt Russia and Saudi Arabia and put an end to the Era of Oil. Honest, it will.

It’s hard to tell who’s nuttier — Joe Biden or Ed Markey.

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