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March 9, 2022

‘Putin’s Price Hike’ Brought to You by Joe Biden

The president bans Russian oil after blaming higher prices on Vladimir Putin’s Ukraine invasion.

If you’re one of those privileged folks taking Pete Buttigieg’s advice on buying an electric car, you can smugly drive around town chuckling with schadenfreude over the rest of us poor saps filling our gas tanks for a (nominal) record high of more than $4 a gallon. Of course, Joe Biden’s gas pains are hurting all of us, regardless of what we drive.

“They’re gonna go up,” Biden said about gas prices that are already up 55 cents in the last week. What can he do about that? “Can’t do much right now.” And, oh, by the way, “Russia’s responsible.”

The only part of his impromptu remarks that isn’t a lie is the first part — gas prices are going to continue to go up.

Biden doesn’t personally set gas prices, but he discovered over the last week that his futile and symbolic gesture of releasing 30 million more barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve did nothing to lower prices. Americans use that much oil in a day and half, so that’s no surprise.

That doesn’t mean he “can’t do much.” He could unleash the American energy juggernaut with a few strokes of his pen — strokes to unlock the shackles he put on American energy production beginning the moment he stepped into the Oval Office last January. Joe Biden’s shackles, not Vladimir Putin’s missiles, are why gas prices were already up 51% in Biden’s first year in office. It turns out that when a president cancels pipelines and rejects drilling leases on federal lands and waters, supplies go down and prices go up.

Who knew?

Actually, Biden and his handlers most certainly knew. In fact, Democrats want high gas prices. They just don’t want you to know they want high gas prices. It’s all about the fundamental transformation of our economy according to the Left’s climate agenda. Biden even claimed that green energy will ultimately save us because “no one has to worry about the price of gas at the pump in the future.” No, we’ll just have to worry about China and Russia controlling the raw materials for all our batteries.

For now, however, gas prices are a political albatross for Democrats. Otherwise, Team Biden wouldn’t be pleading with the Saudis, Emiratis, and Venezuelans to increase oil production now. The first two essentially won’t take Biden’s phone calls. That has to do with dissatisfaction about Biden’s muted response to Saudi Arabia’s fight against the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists in Yemen, as well as Biden’s efforts to craft a new and worse Iran nuclear deal. As for the Venezuelans, Donald Trump sanctioned their oil to combat Nicolas Maduro’s tyranny. Asking for more production of a Russian ally is beyond ironic.

As for Biden’s comment about Russia being responsible, he added, “Since Putin began his military buildup on Ukrainian borders, just since then, the price of gas at the pump in America went up 75 cents.” He went on to call it “Putin’s price hike.”

It’s not that Russia bears no blame, but Russia wouldn’t be in Ukraine if it weren’t for Biden. For all the work Putin supposedly did “colluding” with Trump to win the 2016 election, it sure is odd that he waited to invade Ukraine until feckless Biden was president.

So, that brings us to what Biden did do Tuesday: “We’re banning all imports of Russian oil and gas and energy,” Biden said, cutting off “the main artery of Russia’s economy.” He continued, “Russian oil will no longer be accepted at U.S. ports, and the American people will deal another powerful blow to Putin’s war machine.” That’s a tacit but damning admission that doubling U.S. imports of Russian oil over the last year funded Putin’s aggression.

The bad news is twofold. Disrupting our supply of oil will raise prices even further. And oil is a fungible commodity, which means that some other nation can buy what we don’t. Instead of banning imports, which is little more than a political virtue signal and a distraction at this point, Biden should rally Western nations to sanction Russian oil, which he has thus far refused to do because — get this — it’ll cost Americans money at the gas pump. It might even put pressure on Team Biden to prioritize American production, and they can’t have that.

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