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Nate Jackson / November 24, 2021

Biden Drills the Strategic Petroleum Reserve

He’s hoping to supply not your gas tank but his own drooping poll numbers.

Joe Biden has banned and restricted oil production, canceled pipelines, and generally demonized fossil fuels. In what isn’t exactly the shock of the century, gas prices skyrocketed. That’s politically bad for Biden (especially with all those “I did that” stickers showing up on gas pumps), so he’s doing exactly what Otter demanded in the classic movie “Animal House” — “I think this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part.”

Biden delivered a speech yesterday announcing “the largest-ever release from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve.” First of all, the fact that the national average price for a gallon of gas has risen to $3.40 is nowhere near the crisis that reserve was meant to address. Moments before his announcement, Biden admitted as much, dismissively saying, “The fact is we’ve faced even worse spikes before just in the last decade.”

But the part that makes Biden’s move futile and stupid is that 50 million barrels of oil will supply the needs of Americans for less than three days. That won’t even get people home from their already much more expensive trip for Thanksgiving, Joe.

Technically, of course, the release will be spread across several weeks, and a handful of other countries are joining the effort. But Biden himself previously rejected the idea of tapping the reserve, saying just last month that doing so would reduce the price of gas “maybe 18 cents or so a gallon,” which means “it’s still going to be above $3.”

In fact, Biden’s announcement caused oil prices to rise. Moreover, Biden was already told by OPEC to pound sand. Will OPEC now slow production just a tad to offset Biden’s move?

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm is just as clueless. A couple of weeks back, she literally laughed at the idea that more production would offset soaring prices. Now, as her boss is nominally boosting supply to offset soaring prices, she doesn’t even seem to know how many barrels of oil Americans consume each day. “I don’t have that number in front of me,” she said when asked. Isn’t this a pretty basic number for her to know? By the way, Madame Secretary, the answer is 18 million barrels.

Congressman Dan Crenshaw quipped, “File this one under ‘not qualified to be energy secretary.’”

Granholm’s ignorance is reminiscent of Jen Psaki blowing off supply chain issues by mocking people for complaining about how a treadmill will be late. Or how she was indignant at the suggestion that corporations raise prices to pay for higher taxes.

When it comes to the economy, this administration is woefully incompetent, capricious, and malicious.

Biden’s speech yesterday was meant solely to improve his poll numbers before a holiday. How do we know this? Because he spent so much time telling us how many conversations he’s had to fix the economy.

Supply chain disruptions caused by ships sitting in the Pacific waiting to be unloaded? “I brought together labor and management and asked them to step up and cooperate.”

Store shelves not quite stocked because of those supply issues? “We also met with the CEOs of Walmart, Target, Home Depot, TJ Maxx, and others.”

Oil prices are high, he says, “because oil-producing countries and large companies have not ramped up the supply of oil quickly enough to meet the demand.” Therefore, “I got on the phone.”

Now, don’t get us wrong — presidential actions do have big consequences, and we wish Biden was only having meaningless conversations on the phone instead of taking these actions. He dishonestly insisted that it’s a “myth” that “inflated gas prices” are “due to environmental measures.” He argued, “My effort to combat climate change is not raising the price of gas or increasing its availability.”

That’s a lie, as noted in our opening paragraph. His piecemeal pursuit of the Green New Deal has only just begun to hurt the fossil fuel industry, and thereby everything else in the economy that depends on energy. Which is to say, everything.

Oh well, Biden cares about you little people so very much that he’ll “never stop working to address your family’s needs.” In fact, he ended his speech by bragging, “I’m heading to a food kitchen to serve meals right now.”

And right after that, Scranton Joe jetted off for his traditional family Thanksgiving vacation in the swanky home of some billionaire supporter in Nantucket. We’re sure he’ll be warm there even though heating oil is up 115%.

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