Editor’s Note: As previously covered by Climate Realism (here, here, and here, for instance), the Biden administration’s energy and climate policies have restricted domestic oil and gas produced, indeed, “derailing” domestic fossil fuel industry production capabilities. These policies come in the form of slow-walking or outright denying drilling permits, canceling lease sales, blocking pipeline development, fostering an investment environment that is hostile to fossil fuels, among other tactics that make it more difficult and expensive to develop and deliver oil and gas.
Guest post by Jack McEvoy
President Joe Biden said Wednesday that he has not stopped or stalled oil production; despite this, the Biden administration has implemented policies that are derailing domestic fossil fuel output.
Biden asserted that he wanted to “debunk some myths” about his energy policies and claimed that his administration has done the “opposite” of discouraging oil production during a speech. However, the Biden administration has instituted a regulatory crackdown on producers and discouraged investment in the industry while blaming oil and gas companies for the resulting shortages and price hikes.
“Biden’s claim is absolutely not true based on his very clear track record,” Phil Flynn, an energy market analyst with the PRICE Futures Group, told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “Biden’s green policies have created a hostile environment for investment in oil and gas, which has hurt production.”
Biden also indicated that oil companies were arbitrarily increasing prices at the pump as the price trends of gasoline did not match oil price trends. However, gas prices are being driven higher due to refining constraints rather than because of the oil industry’s alleged “price gouging,” according to Flynn.
“We’ve seen refineries close because of environmental regulations or switch to ineffective biofuels due to pressure from the Biden administration,” Flynn said. “The president either doesn’t understand this or he is purposely misleading people,”
The Environmental Protection Agency decided in April to rescind exemptions that would have allowed over 30 refiners to avoid blending “renewable” biofuels into gasoline and diesel, increasing the “burden” on refineries by hiking costs and decreasing output, according to an agency docket. The Democrats’ $370 billion climate spending package, which Biden signed into law in August, strengthens the EPA’s methane rules and imposes new taxes on methane emissions which could threaten independent oil and gas producers.
“If the president wants to debunk some myths, let’s start with the fact that he’s leased fewer acres of federal and offshore land than any other president since the end of WWII,” Republican Rep. Bruce Westerman of Arkansas told the DCNF. “This admin is approving just over 200 leases monthly, while the Trump admin was approving almost 400 monthly.”
Biden has issued the fewest acres of land for federal oil and gas leasing since the late 1940s, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“To round it out, Biden is currently sitting on more than 4,700 pending Applications for Permits to Drill (APDs),” Westerman said.
Biden’s Interior Department (DOI) in June announced a five-year oil and gas leasing plan that gave the agency the option to not hold any new lease sales until the end of 2028, according to a DOI press release. But only two months later, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) found that cutting back on offshore drilling would hike energy prices and increase the U.S. dependence on foreign oil, according to a BOEM report.
“It’s just disingenuous. … American oil production has declined dramatically since he took office,” Greg Walcher, a natural resources fellow at the conservative Centennial Institute think tank, told the DCNF. “The U.S. was completely energy independent for the first time ever when he took office but now he’s begging dictators for oil instead helping pump responsibly-sourced oil domestically.”
The White House begged Saudi Arabia in early October to delay cutting oil production to avoid gas price hikes before the midterms and also proposed easing sanctions on Venezuela to allow Chevron to pump oil there.
The White House did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.
Jack McEvoy is an Energy and Environment reporter for The Daily Caller.
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