You’re Right, Washington Times, Biden’s Climate Policies Are Draining Americans’ Bank Accounts

The Washington Times recently ran a story detailing how President Joe Biden’s climate policies have dramatically increased energy prices over the past year, hammering average American pocketbooks. The newspaper couldn’t be more correct.

The study Haris Alic, the author of the Washington Times story, titled “Biden’s climate policies added $1,000 to Americans’ energy bills in 2021, study finds,” references was produced by my colleagues at The Heartland Institute, Linnea Lueken, a research fellow, and James Taylor, Heartland’s president.

Summing up the study Alic writes:

President Biden’s plan to make combatting climate change a “whole of government agenda” resulted in Americans shelling out more than $1,000 extra in energy costs last year, according to a new report by conservative think tank Heartland Institute.

Mr. Biden’s climate change policies coupled with rising inflation contributed to the highest single-year increase in energy costs in decades, found the analysis by the Heartland Institute.

“Rapidly rising energy prices are no accident, but instead the predictable result of Joe Biden’s war on energy,” said James Taylor, the president of the Heartland Institute.

As a candidate for the presidency, Joe Biden made fighting climate change by ending the use of fossil fuels the centerpiece of his campaign.

CNBC quoted Biden saying, “[Climate change is] the number one issue facing humanity. And it’s the number one issue for me. Climate change is the existential threat to humanity. Unchecked, it is going to actually bake this planet. This is not hyperbole. It’s real.”

As detailed by Lueken and Taylor, among the policies the Biden administration has imposed to fight climate change are:

  • Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline;
  • Restricting drilling in parts of the Arctic Ocean, Bering Sea, and federal lands;
  • Placing a moratorium on new oil and gas leases on federal land;
  • Rescinding energy production leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge;
  • Plans to close nearly half of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska;
  • Stringent new regulations on methane emissions from oil and gas production;
  • Classifying residual water from oil and gas drilling as toxic waste;
  • Considering hiking royalties paid to the federal government by fossil-fuel companies.

Using the latest official government data, Lueken and Taylor show that the effects of these policies have been to dramatically increase energy prices.

  • Overall electricity prices rose 8 percent;
  • Industrial electricity prices rose 15 percent;
  • Home heating oil prices increased by 43 percent;
  • Oil prices rose 60 percent;
  • Natural gas prices surged by 61 percent;
  • The price of gasoline rose 98 cents per gallon, about 42 percent.

The overall impact on household budgets in the United States of Biden’s climate policies has been huge, as Lueken and Taylor write:

The average U.S. household in 2021 spent an extra $600 in higher gasoline costs and $70 in higher electricity costs. Further, households that use natural gas spent an extra $300, on average, and those using home heating oil paid $1,000 more. Cumulatively, the average American household paid about $1,000 in higher energy costs in 2021 compared to 2020. It’s also important to note that these higher energy prices have been baked into the costs for all goods and services bought and sold in the economy, contributing to across-the-board inflation.

Rapidly rising energy prices are no accident, rather they are the predictable and, from a climate warrior perspective, desired result of Biden’s climate policies. Increasing the costs of fossil fuels is the quickest way to reduce their use and thus reduce emissions. For Biden reducing emissions in an effort to fight climate change is more important than any other goal; more important than energy or national security, more important than jobs, more important than economic growth, and more important than people’s well-being and freedom. How do we know this? Because he told us so.

H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is the Director of the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy and the managing editor of Environment & Climate News. In addition to directing The Heartland Institute's Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy, Burett puts Environment & Climate News together, is the editor of Heartland's Climate Change Weekly email, and the host of the Environment & Climate News Podcast.

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