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Michael Swartz / June 22, 2022

High Prices ARE the Biden Energy Strategy

Media outlets complain that his climate agenda is being hampered, but economic pain is the agenda.

As the nation transitions into summer driving season, there are places in the country where the pump price has dropped slightly over the last few days. Heck, the AAA national average has ticked down from over $5 to a relative bargain $4.95. But high energy prices are still foremost in the minds of millions of Americans who are planning to travel, have longer commutes, or work in the very hard-hit trucking industry.

Many of the Democrat-leaning institutions of the mainstream media have noticed this as well, but the problem is different for them: How do we square the circle of maintaining the current fossil fuel-dependent economy while working on pie-in-the-sky climate goals set when oil was a whole lot cheaper and easier to come by?

For one good example, we can look no further than The Washington Post, which makes the case by promoting a report that the oil and gas leasing program Joe Biden tried to kill off before relenting slightly in recent days “undercuts Biden’s climate goals.” Then again, we shouldn’t be surprised when the report in question was written by an environmental law firm and a climate advocacy group whose chief of staff told the Post, “The fossil fuel leasing program, as it stands, is one of the biggest de facto subsidies to the oil and gas industry.” The report calls for, among other things, no new offshore leasing and withdrawing large areas of land from the program.

The mainstream media also covered the whining of environmentalists who were certain our nation was on the right green path. “I thought the country had turned a corner, that the country was headed in the right direction,” complained Mary Nichols, a former regulator in California who The Wall Street Journal described as “a longtime environmental leader.”

“Now this last year or two leaves you wondering whether that is true,” Nichols said.

The Journal story also noted a salient fact that those on the Right are familiar with: decades of inertia on a subject leads to a loss of interest among activists. “There seems to be real signs [the lack of progress] is doing damage” to the morale of young environmentalists interested in the climate, claimed anti-fossil fuel activist Bill McKibben.

On top of that, the ecofascist Left has an issue with Biden’s right-hand man on the subject of energy policy, Amos Hochstein, because Hochstein has spent time in the fossil fuel industry as an executive and lobbyist. “I’m not a big fan of Amos,” one of the Washington Post’s infamous unnamed inside sources sneered. “I think of him as 100 percent an oil-and-gas guy, not a climate guy.” Meanwhile, Lukas Ross, described by the Post as a program manager for Friends of the Earth, said, “The president may not like the climate legacy Mr. Hochstein is helping him secure.”

In order to help Biden, leftists have thrown out a suggestion: The government should formally take over the refineries to ramp up production for the moment to bring the price of gas down but then slowly decrease output as electric cars take over. Gregory Brew, an author and historian, embraced the idea of a government-owned National Refining Company, as it could “restart idle assets at a loss to meet the immediate challenge themselves, then shut them back down once the crunch is over so as to speed along the energy transition.” In essence, the transition to Venezuela would be all but complete under Brew’s scheme.

If you think we’re kidding, bear in mind that a wide swath of our nation could face rolling blackouts this summer because of unsteady “green” energy sources having to work with a power grid that demands 24/7 reliability. As John Hinderaker of Power Line concluded in a recent piece: “Already, liberals are talking about a future in which you don’t control your use of electricity. Rather, a utility does. Thus, when ‘renewable’ energy sources don’t produce enough to meet demand, the response will be ‘demand management.’ That may mean, among other things, that you won’t be able to turn on your own air conditioning. Rather, the utility will control the temperature of your home for you. This is a classic liberal solution to a problem that liberals created: it totally fails to mitigate the disaster that liberal policies have caused, but serves the more important purpose of allowing liberals to use access to electricity to reward their friends and punish their enemies.”

Having that “smart” thermostat isn’t that smart anymore, is it? In the end, the Biden energy policy is like a lot of the Left’s other policies. It isn’t so much about renewable energy or fossil fuels as it is about control of your life.

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