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June 16, 2022

That Joe Biden Is a Real Gas

He promised to “end fossil fuel,” but now he’s threatening oil companies if they don’t produce more.

“I guarantee you we are going to end fossil fuel,” said Joe Biden in 2019. In 2020, he declared: “No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period.” Since taking office, Biden has worked toward this goal with scores of actions to make oil more expensive. But yeah, sure thing, $5 gas is Vladimir Putin’s fault.

When you pay $5 a gallon for gas — or, as is already the case in some locations, $6, $7, or even $8 — remember that Joe Biden did that. On purpose.

He told us during his presidential campaign that he’d do it, and 81 million people still voted for him. So you can thank them, too.

Yesterday, Biden trotted out to blame Putin again and to slam oil companies for making a profit, all while demanding they somehow increase production after he’s stymied them at every turn. And that while he has the gall to falsely claim we’re producing more oil now than under Donald Trump. Americans can be forgiven for angrily recalling that FJB slogan.

“There is no question Vladimir Putin is principally responsible for the intense financial pain the American people and their families are bearing,” Biden wrote in an intimidating letter to seven major U.S. oil refiners. “But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.”

Let’s talk about refineries. We’ll start by quoting a Wall Street Journal news story on them:

Mr. Biden’s letter was sent to Marathon Petroleum Corp., Valero Energy Corp., Exxon Mobil Corp., Phillips 66, Chevron Corp., BP and Shell. Mr. Biden requested that the companies provide his administration with an explanation of any reductions in capacity since 2020 as well as ideas for addressing high prices. …

U.S. refineries closed about 1 million barrels a day of capacity during the pandemic. …

Refineries are making money now but have operated on far thinner margins in recent years, particularly in the early days of the pandemic when economic lockdowns led to a historic crash in demand. …

[Many] refinery shutdowns are likely irreversible at this point … said [John Auers, executive vice president at energy consulting firm Turner, Mason & Co]. He said the prospect for many more refinery expansions is dim, given that policy makers and the investment community are encouraging an energy transition away from fossil fuels.

Aha! And there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. For years, refiners were making limited profits, losing money in 2020, and for years Democrats have been pushing us away from fossil fuels. They even shut down the economy at least partly in hopes of achieving a divorce from fossil fuels.

Don’t believe it? Ask “climate czar” John F. Kerry: “You have this new revisionism suggesting that we have to be pumping oil like crazy, and we have to be moving into long-term [fossil fuel] infrastructure building. We have to push back.” Do we need more drilling? Kerry says, “No, we don’t. We absolutely don’t.”

Why would companies invest in new refining capacity and infrastructure when Kerry is pushing back against drilling? When Biden is thundering, “We are going to end fossil fuel”? What possible return on investment could they expect?

Very little, according to Chevron CEO Mike Wirth, because “the stated policy of the U.S. government is to reduce demand for the products that refiners produce.”

Profits now with sky-high gas prices means energy companies can perhaps better afford to make the transitions being foisted on them by government. Well, if Democrats don’t slap oil companies consumers with a windfall profits tax. Democrats want to make sure we never see gas anywhere near $2.39 again, which, by the way, happens to be the price the day Trump left office.

What else happened Wednesday while Biden was politically posturing about gas prices? His pals on the ecofascist Left sued his administration over the paltry few oil-drilling leases he did approve. Are we the only ones wondering if that’s a wink and nod? He gets credit for trying to “do something” while his henchmen block it and lecture him for good measure. “While President Biden has acknowledged the urgency of this [climate] crisis,” said the leader of the plaintiff group, “it is time for action to align with rhetoric.”

Meanwhile, Biden’s allies at The Washington Post are bemoaning the fact that $5 gas hasn’t yet spurred the expected “green revolution.” That it hasn’t sparked a revolt against green energy is what amazes us.

Biden’s letter may pretend to aim for more oil drilling and refining to ease his polling pain, but make no mistake, his goal is exactly what the ecofascists suing him want to achieve — a world free of fossil fuels. Doing that means squeezing you at the pump until you quit pumping.

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