Joe Biden needed to get away from the White House luxury and enjoy the holiday.
So just before burning a few tons of jet fuel and emitting fresh carbon emissions on the four-hour flight to Nantucket, President Climate Change ordered the Energy Department to release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s precious Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
His decisive act will reduce the fuel price rise, he says. Yeh, right. The only thing his PR move will do is get him one, maybe two, news cycles’ publicity from sympathetic D.C. media types who Uber everywhere anyway.
This strategic reserve is an enormous amount of oil that was purchased at lower prices by smart previous presidents including Donald Trump. It’s pumped underground to salt caverns at four locations in Texas and Louisiana. It currently contains 612million barrels of oil, which is 714 million more than its maximum.
That can seem like a lot of oil; though it’s barely enough to fuel the country for six months. Then, you compare it to the proven oil reserves beneath just Saudi Arabia’s desert, which are 266,578,000,000 barrels.
One barrel of oil is approximately 42 gallons. These can be refined to produce about 20 gallons or gasoline, 12 Gallons of diesel and four gallons each of jet fuels and asphalt.
The U.S. reserve is like your personal rainy-day fund for when government’s pandemic lock-down costs your job. It was created as a major national security asset in 1975 after Arab oil producers halted exports to the U.S. for resupplying Israel’s military during the Yom Kippur War of 1973, which they lost.
However, the Reserve was created for actual emergencies and not PR stunts. In 2011, Barack Obama, the Nobel Peace Prize winner who was busy bombing Libya’s Moammar Gaddafi out of office, released 30 million barrels to cover supply disruptions.
George H.W. Bush set aside 17 million barrels for the same reasons in the Gulf War in 1991, while his son released eleven million barrels to support regional supplies in 2005 after Hurricane Katrina.
Joe Biden’s “genuine emergency” is of his own making — the continued plummet in job approval tied to the continued rise in gas prices. He also demonstrates a bumbling, ham-handed nature. sales pitch and implementation of Trump’s COVID vaccines.
Biden said last spring that the price jump was only temporary. The problem is that the blip has turned into a blizzard. It’s worsened each month.
Perhaps you’ve noticed Joe Biden does a lot of assuring that turns out to resemble an eight-letter barnyard epithet. Don’t worry, folks, it’s just an iceberg and we’re unsinkable. Don’t worry, folks, we’ll evacuate every American before U.S. troops leave Afghanistan. Don’t worry, folks, trillions of dollars in newly-printed bucks don’t cause inflation. Spending more money will actually help to combat inflation.
Well, assuming he’s politically conscious, which might be an assumption too far, Joe Biden himself should worry about inflation because it is very, very unpopular, politically radioactive, and understandably so.
In reality, it’s a hidden tax on anyone who buys anything, eating up their raises, paychecks, savings, and hopes of getting ahead. It corrodes optimism, which is at root what fueled voters’ unthinking ouster of Trump.
Jimmy Carter can talk about the 1980 inflation experience. Inflation was at 13.2 percent in 1980. Jimmy Carter barely won six states, with only 41% of his vote. What’s the surprise? This October’s inflation rate was halfway there, 6.2 percent over costs last October, when someone loud but decisive was president.
The rising cost of fuel is evident in particular, with gasoline prices up to $1.50 per gallon after Donald Trump’s creation of an unappreciated national energy independence.
On Joe Biden’s first day in office, he killed the Keystone XL pipeline with its 40,000 jobs, designed to bring tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas. He then endorsed Vladimir Putin’s undersea gas pipeline to Europe, which will weaken NATO and U.S. LNG sales. Now, Biden’s slapping new sanctions on that almost-complete project. Is it you?
Biden has also cancelled U.S. drill leases and removed vast tracts from the limits of future exploration and drilling. He drove an electric Hummer through a group of gasoline-engined SUVs last week.
You saw probably all of the media criticism he got for this hypocrisy. No, you didn’t. Crickets.
Biden’s all the time talking about an end to fossil fuels. This has led to a reduction in supply and increased market confidence, as well as boosted fears about future shortages that can lead to higher prices.
In the year Biden was inaugurated, gas prices averaged $2.11 per gallon. It was at $2.24 when Biden took office. Two months later it was $2.71. By May 2, $2.89, July 3, 12.2, September 3, 17.7, and today, $3.39. California pump prices are higher than $5.
Last week, Joe Biden demanded an investigation into his gas price rise. The media delivered the same with straight faces.
Biden and whoever else is making his moves is counting on ignorant voters like those who accidentally elected Trump while voting for him. They’ll want to validate their backhanded choice.
And Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm laughing at rising gas prices doesn’t help: “We’re working through an energy transition.” Well, not in her lifetime or Biden’s.
Biden also asked OPEC oil producer to raise supplies to decrease prices. Of course this would decrease their income. They’ve seen Joe Biden in action at recent foreign confabs. So, with impunity, they replied, “C’mon, man.”
Let’s be honest here. Even if 50 million barrels are taken from strategic oil reserves, borrowing them for political use is an inefficient exercise. It’s not going to change anything. It will not change anything.
First of all, it’s a drop in the barrel, literally. May seem large, But it’s merely eight percent of the reserve. That’s less than three days’ average U.S. domestic oil use and only 44 hours of OPEC production.
Ed Morrissey is our Salem Media co-worker and wrote the following:
Biden, in essence, has enough oil to fuel consumers through the weekend. Gas up!