Biden’s Gas Problem

Biden’s Gas Problem

Biden’s Gas Problem

Biden has a gas problem. And no, it’s not what you think. It’s that pesky pain at the pump that we are dealing with. So, what does he do? Blame the oil companies and Putin once again.

On Wednesday, he called out major oil companies directly for what he said was their role in preventing Americans from getting access to cheaper fuel, saying their gasoline production isn’t where it should be.

“I understand that many factors contributed to the business decisions to reduce refinery capacity, which occurred before I took office,” wrote Biden in a letter sent to the CEOs of oil companies including ExxonMobil and Chevron and obtained by Axios. “But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.”

Beyond the persistent lag in oil production caused by the pandemic’s lockdown, Biden also acknowledged the impact that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has had on the global energy market. “The shortage of refining capacity is a global challenge and a global concern,” he wrote.

Biden, during his basement campaign, consistently told oil and gas companies that they would be put out of business in favor of switching to unreliable wind and solar. Now he’s piling on by blaming them for having the temerity to have profits, while shuttering the Keystone pipeline, refusing to grant leases or permits, and more. 

None of this is ever Biden’s fault. It’s everyone else’s.

Don’t get me wrong, Putin’s war on Ukraine DID affect gas prices, but it’s a problem that’s been brewing since the world lockdowns started. 

Remember the outrage when a handful of U.S. oil refineries closed in 2020?

If you don’t, that’s because there wasn’t any outrage. Oil and gasoline prices were blissfully low and the COVID-19 pandemic dominated the news. Hardly anybody noticed.

Energy investors certainly did, however, because 2020 was one of the worst years in history for energy producers. Exxon Mobil notched the first loss in its history, a gigantic $22 billion write-off. The five biggest U.S. oil refiners — Marathon Petroleum, Valero Energy, Exxon Mobil, Phillips 66, and Chevron — lost a combined $43 billion as COVID shutdowns worldwide produced an epic plunge in oil prices and energy demand.

~Snip

Biden is basically asking energy firms to restart refineries deemed to be money losers during the depths of 2020 while also asking those firms to invest in more capacity with no guarantee prices will stay high in a way such that they’ll earn a return on that investment. In fact, Biden is implicitly asking energy producers to add capacity at the expense of their own profitability, because more capacity would bring prices down. If the government could guarantee prices would stay above a certain level, guaranteeing profits, the industry might produce more. But guaranteeing high prices wouldn’t solve Biden’s problem with voters — and would probably make it worse.

The lockdowns started and everyone quit driving, flying, or going on cruises. Therefore demand plummeted and so did the oil prices. 

Now, however, demand has skyrocketed as have prices. Couldn’t the big oil companies just drop the price? It’s not that easy for ANY business to do so, let alone do so in order for us to see savings at the pump. Costs of everything has gone up since the lockdowns. Which means any materials that the oil companies purchase to drill, refine, transport, and put in place at gas stations cost more these days. It’s basic economics. In order for a business to stay open, sometimes you have to raise prices if your costs have gone up. 

Again, this is a problem that’s been brewing for a very long time. Biden’s letter is one long continuation of his and the Democrats hatred of Big Oil

He’s blaming the oil and gas companies for the high gas prices we are dealing with.

Except that HE is piling onto the problem!

If the Biden Administration is going to play these games, why would oil and gas companies suddenly spend time and a great deal of money on upping their refining output and running out to drill more wells? Guess what? They wouldn’t and I don’t blame them. 

The industry has made a laundry list of solutions. Some of which go against the green narrative.

1. Lift Development Restrictions on Federal Lands and Waters

2. Designate Critical Energy Infrastructure Projects

3. Fix the NEPA Permitting Process

4. Accelerate LNG Exports and Approve Pending LNG Applications

5. Unlock Investment and Access to Capital

6. Dismantle Supply Chain Bottlenecks

7. Advance Lower Carbon Energy Tax Provisions
.
8. Protect Competition in the Use of Refining Technologies

9. End Permitting Obstruction on Natural Gas Projects

10. Advance the Energy Workforce of the Future

It’s doubtful anyone in Biden’s orbit will listen, but at least they are trying, even as Biden’s energy secretary laughs at our pain. 

The pain is the point. Biden has a gas problem, one he’s making worse by the day. Need gas to run regular errands or go to your job, but can’t afford it? Blame Biden as he refuses to take responsibility for his part in our country’s gas problem. 

Feature Photo: Original artwork by Victory Girls Darleen Click

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3 Comments
  • George V says:

    Given Biden’s strident attack language against the petroleum industry when he speaks, I would like to see the API respond in kind, publicly and loudly. Something like:
    “The industry is producing as much gasoline and diesel as it can. The Biden administration has prevented the drilling of new wells to increase supply. The Biden administration has blocked new refinery capacity. The Biden administration has directed financial institutions to block access to financing for the industry, which is also preventing additional production. Current administration policies, if continued, will result in not only high prices but shortages where no gasoline or diesel will be available at any price. The industry would be delighted to produce more gasoline and diesel fuel at much lower prices and we will do so when the Biden administration allows us to do so.

    But instead the API sends a nice letter of suggestions and their public statement I read in the paper today is weasel-wordy mush.

  • Dietrich says:

    “But at a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.”
    What war might that be? The implication of that statement is that the U.S. is in a war. There are always armed conflicts going on somewhere in the world.
    Stupid AND senile is a very bad combination.

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