For two years we at The Pipeline have argued that petroleum products, the life's blood of the modern world, are going to be produced somewhere, and that it would be best if they were produced by us and our allies rather than by nations such as Russia, Saudia Arabia, Iran, or Venezuela. Keeping oil and gas production at home ensures that that life's blood keeps flowing, and that we aren't as affected by the whims of a Vladimir Putin or an Ayatollah Khomeini as their subjects are.
It prevents us from having to depend on the political stability of the oft-unstable Strait of Hormuz or Russian borderlands which have been fought over for a millennium. And it empowers us to ensure that our resource sector is both abiding by reasonable environmental standards and free of the human rights abuses so common in nations like those mentioned above.
Russia's war in Ukraine has demonstrated the utter necessity of this position, making it so obvious that anyone with half-a-brain could see it. So, of course, the Biden administration is headed in the opposite direction. On Tuesday, bowing to bi-partisan pressure, Washington announced a ban on oil imports from Russia. This decision in itself is commendable -- the West's addiction to Russian oil has helped fund Putin's war effort, and it would be silly for us to condemn the shelling of Ukrainian cities while essentially paying for the shells. Unsurprisingly, gasoline prices skyrocketed in response, hitting record highs this week, records which will probably be eclipsed in the coming days, with some predicting that we will see averages of 6 dollars per gallon before too long.
The correct response from the White House would be to back off its war on domestic oil and gas production, revisit the Keystone XL pipeline and get back to issuing oil and gas leases on federal land. Yes, it would take months for the first drops of this new product to enter circulation, but the knowledge that it is coming would exert downward pressure on the market, bringing down prices in the near-term while insulating us against shocks further down the road.
Instead, the Biden team has apparently settled on a malignant two-pronged response:
Step one, cozy-up to oil rich bad actors like Venezuela, Iran, and Saudi Arabia, and see if they can work out a deal where we either ease economic sanctions (in the case of the first two) or help them improve their image on the world stage (in the case of the latter) in exchange for their pumping whatever they can into the global oil and gas market. This is a Faustian bargain if there ever was one, though it sounds like the House of Saud are refusing to help unless Biden increases our support for their horrific war in Yemen. If he does so, that would be a Munich-level deal with the devil.
And step two, lean in to the utopian environmentalist policies which created this mess in the first place, with Jenn Psaki mumbling that Russia's actions justifies President Biden's view that "we need to reduce our dependence on oil in general" (which isn't going to happen), and Kamala Harris and Pete Buttigieg hawking electric vehicles (as if the electricity wasn't ultimately generated by fossil fuels -- something "Mayor Pete" has been pretending not to know for years).
I used to tweet, as a joke, that the Dem answer to high gas prices was to say "all the poors can just go buy a Tesla."
This is madness, and even Democrats have started to notice. Senators Jon Tester and Joe Manchin have been quite vocal about the insanity, with the former asking why we would give an economic boon to "countries who don't share our values" when we could ramp up production here, and the latter saying, "Go back to the policies that we had before.... that's all we're asking."
Quite right, and eminently reasonable. Which is why it isn't gonna happen.
With oil imports from Russia banned and gas prices continuing to rise, many around the nation report really wishing we had our own oil we could dig up with big machines and then transport around with some sort of pipeline. "If only we had oil, and knew how to get it," said one local mom as she shelled out $300 for gas to take her kids to soccer practice. "Then maybe we wouldn't have to buy it from evil regimes around the world and gas prices would be lower. I know that's ridiculous, but it sure would be nice if that were possible!"
Wouldn't it, though? Never fear, however: Li'l Petey B., the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., has a solution!
Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg says he commiserates with people who are struggling right now. "I do have a solution though," he said. "If you all just plop down $90K on an electric car and another 3 million on building a windmill in your backyard, you won't have to deal with these gas costs. I am smart!"
According to the Bee, American scientists are working hard on a solution to the nation's energy woes, but so far no dice. Nuclear power, long bruited in the pages of science fiction, is still years if not decades away.
One solution might be for the feds and the states to immediately suspend all taxes at the pump, thus reducing the price-per-gallon to 1970s' level, but that has been dismissed in Washington as the kind of crazy talk we've come to expect from the insurrectionists of Jan. 6 and their fellow travelers in states that didn't vote for Joe Biden.
The Build Back Better legislation] contains incentives to make it more affordable to buy an electric vehicle, up to a $12,500 discount in effect, for families thinking about getting an E.V., families that, once they own that electric vehicle, will never have to worry about gas prices again.
Suffice it to say, I can't remember when I've heard a more brainless sentiment. Buttigieg can't possibly be this dumb, can he?
Maybe it's just that he's been given an impossible assignment -- talk up the increasingly unpopular Build Back Better plan while shifting blame on rising gas prices to combat the president's tanking poll numbers. He might as well be saying, 'Hey, if you people had bought an electric car, you wouldn't have to worry about gas prices right now! But no worries -- we've got a plan to give you a pile of money so you can fix that mistake. That's why pencils have erasers!"
'Just go buy a new car if you don't like high gas prices' is such a progressive thing to say. ?☕
Still, at the risk of asking some obvious questions: Where does Buttigieg think that electricity comes from? Does he not know that it is inextricably tied to the price of petroleum products? Here's David Harsanyi spelling that out for him:
Natural-gas prices have increased over 150 percent in a year’s time — with help from Biden-administration policy. More than 40 percent of our electricity is generated by natural gas.... Right now, fossil fuels are responsible for generating around 60 percent of our electricity — with nuclear, a source that Buttigieg now opposes, responsible for another 20 percent. The remaining 20 percent — often at tremendous up-front costs — is generated by renewable sources.
And as Harsanyi points out, "plugging your car into an outlet for 15 hours every night is going to cost plenty if Democrats get their way and make fossil fuels more expensive."
Even Buttigieg's reference to a $12,500 discount for people buying a new electric vehicle is ridiculous -- the average price difference between a new E.V. and a gas-powered car is $19,000! And that is on top of the significant tax-payer funded subsidies to the E.V. industry, enacted in the hope that it might one day be profitable on its own. It's farcical that even with this new subsidy embedded in BBB they're unable to close the gap.
All of which is to say -- Mayor Pete is trying to take you for a ride. Don't let him.
Biden Administration: 'Actually, Pipelines are Good'
I quoted this the other day, but Kyle Smith's line about how anti-pipeline Joe Biden has been bears repeating. For candidate Biden, "Keystone XL not only was a menace to our American way of life by bringing us energy, Biden thought it had to be cut off before his first afternoon nap." And he did, in fact, kill Keystone on Day 1 as promised.
That's a good fact to remember, since during the Colonial pipeline fiasco at least three officials in the Biden administration have admitted that pipelines are the safest and most efficient way to transport fuel. H/T to Breitbart for collecting the quotes:
First, "Climate Czar" John Kerry:
Kerry, when asked by Republican Rep. Darrell Issa (CA) if it is “true, the pipelines are more carbon-delivery efficient than trains or trucks or other forms of delivery?” Kerry immediately responded and said, “Yeah, that is true.”
Next, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm:
Granholm... admitted Tuesday, “pipe is the best way to go” when transporting fuel, during a press briefing regarding the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack.
And finally, Transportation Secretary and former McKinsey Globalist... er, sorry, Small Town Mayor/Presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. Asked whether he agrees with Secretary Granholm's comments that "pipelines are still the best way to move oil,”
Buttigieg responded by saying, “certainly.” He then continued, especially “when you’re talking about the efficiency of moving petroleum products.” “That’s why we have pipelines,” he added after.
Maybe someone should clue in the old man upstairs, after he wakes up from his nap.