President Biden seems to have had a Ron Burgundy moment or something like it yesterday in reading from the teleprompter to announce his huge, or hugely laughable, move to lower gas prices by ordering the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (transcript here):
And, by the way, you may have heard the CEO of Walmart yesterday on the steps we’ve taken. He said, and I quote, “The combination of private enterprise and government working together has been really successful.” He went on to say, “All the way through the supply chain, there’s… a lot of innovation.” Because of the actions we’ve taken, things have begun to change. End of quote.
The possible Ron Burgundy moment is the least of it. It’s the stupidity reserve that Biden has tapped since his first day in office that really hurts. The oil to be released is approximately two-and-a-half day’s average domestic consumption in 2020 (which was at the lowest level since 1995).
Biden took no questions following his remarks. “Senior administration officials” conducted a background press call to supplement Biden’s remarks (transcript here). Unlike the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the stupidity reserve is bottomless. Perhaps coincidentally, the leading motif of the senior administration officials on the call is “tools,” which appears 16 times in the transcript. Unmentioned by or among the tools is any move by the administration to encourage domestic energy production or to reverse its own actions discouraging it.
UPDATE: I wish I had noted the Wall Street Journal editorial on Biden’s drawdown of the stupidity reserve: Mr. “Biden’s SPR withdrawal is intended to give the appearance of doing something about prices while actually doing nothing.”