It takes an epic level of chutzpah for a president to do his best to suppress production of oil and gas by blocking pipelines and putting federal lands off limits, and then complain when the prices of oil and gas rise. President Biden achieved the ultimate absurdity by blocking production of petroleum products in the U.S, and then begging Russia and Saudi Arabia to increase their production to bring prices down. This is a level of cosmic stupidity that we may not see again in our lifetimes.
There is more going on than sheer incompetence, however. The truth is that the Democrats want oil and gas to be more expensive. They have been admitting as much, in their more candid moments, for the last twenty years. This is a key part of their grand design to force the rest of us to depend on expensive, unreliable and environmentally damaging “green” energy.
The Democrats’ problem is that no one can run for office on a platform of, “The price of gasoline is up 43%! Home heating is up 80%! I did that! On purpose. Because I think it’s good for you to pay more!” On the contrary, “I did that” is a rebel meme along the lines of “Let’s go Brandon!”
So Democrats have to lie. Joe Biden’s latest lie is a whopper: he wants the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the oil companies for “anti-consumer behavior.” This is truly pathetic:
Pres. Biden, saying there is “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies,” in letter to the FTC: “The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.” pic.twitter.com/0SCa26hiqG
— Phil Mattingly (@Phil_Mattingly) November 17, 2021
It is remarkable, isn’t it, how just a few years ago America was the number one producer of petroleum products in the world, we were energy independent and a net exporter, and energy prices were affordable. Now American families are struggling to make ends meet in an inflationary environment driven largely by skyrocketing energy costs. Gosh, whatever could have happened?
Joe Biden’s theory is that the petroleum companies have suddenly started engaging in “anti-consumer behavior.” A saner theory is that the Democrats’ anti-energy policies are having their intended effect. Somehow I suspect that if we elect a Republican to succeed Doddering Joe in 2024, petroleum prices will drop again. Not because of “collusion” on the part of the oil companies, but because arbitrary and irrational obstacles to supply will be removed.
In the meantime, one almost feels sorry for a politician so desperate as to adopt the slogan, “Investigate the oil companies!” The Democrats are indeed America’s stupid party.
STEVE adds: Calling for an investigation into oil industry “collusion” or price-gouging has been going on since the first “energy crisis” of the 1970s, which was more of a government policy failure crisis than a true energy supply crisis, just as today’s price hikes are partly a government policy failure: when it comes to domestic oil and gas, the Democrats’ preferred policy is “kill, baby, kill.” The FTC has investigated the domestic oil market several times, as have many state attorneys general and other official bodies. These investigations never turn up anything, for the same reason that an investigation as to why soybean prices sometimes spike would find it is never due to “collusion”—it’s not how these markets work. Biden is either an idiot who simply doesn’t know this, or he knows it and is just the cheap demagogue he’s always been, which may work in the Senate, but is a bad look in a president. (I know, there is a third alternative. . .)
The further irony is that environmental orthodoxy is in favor of higher gasoline prices, so what’s the problem? Well, that’s easy to figure out, too: high gasoline prices are great when it comes from a government tax, but not when it comes from the marketplace that delivers profits to oil companies and refiners when prices spike. Never mind that the federal and state governments make more money on every gallon of gas (through taxes) that oil companies do. Move along, nothing to see here.