MINOT, N.D. — This may be one of the most colossally stupid things I've ever seen a president do in my lifetime.
And I, like all of you, just lived through the Trump administration.
President Joe Biden's administration is calling for an increase in oil production.
Not in America, mind you.
His administration is still pursuing a generally hostile policy posture within our borders toward domestic oil and gas producers, including a moratorium on federal land leases that is costing North Dakota, particularly billions. One of his first acts, as president, was to waylay the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have carried oil from American producers and our friendly Canadian neighbors up north.
But now President Biden has delivered an exhortation to the nations of OPEC — places with state-owned oil industries such as Iran and Saudi Arabia — urging them to ease American gas prices by producing more oil. “Higher gasoline costs, if left unchecked, risk harming the ongoing global recovery. The price of crude oil has been higher than it was at the end of 2019, before the onset of the pandemic,” national security advisor Jake Sullivan’s statement said. “While OPEC+ recently agreed to production increases, these increases will not fully offset previous production cuts that OPEC+ imposed during the pandemic until well into 2022. At a critical moment in the global recovery, this is simply not enough.”
A less politically confused leader might see OPEC's production cuts as an opportunity. The world still needs oil, and plenty of American companies are capable of supplying it. But the perpetually blundering Biden is so ensnared by the factionalism of his political party that he is stuck trying to appease the climate change alarmists in his base with anti-oil domestic policies even as he acknowledges economic realities demands for greater international oil production.
This buffoonish contradiction is hardly unique to Biden. It is endemic to Democratic politics. The "green new deal" wing of the party is promoting a platform that is a non-starter as a matter of reality. But Biden is obligated to tend to them, so he's left trying to smother an entire domestic industry while going hat-in-hand to their international competitors asking for them to sell us more oil.
The impetus for Biden's anti-oil domestic policies is rooted in climate change alarmism. Armageddon is looming, these people tell us as justification for new taxes and regulations that will dramatically impact the cost and quality of our lives.
Are we to believe that OPEC oil production has no bearing on climate change?
Should we believe the alarmism when the principal alarmists consistently contradict themselves?
Celebrity activists lecture us about climate change from their private jets. Pipeline protesters leave behind mountains of trash and human waste. Democratic politicians tell us we must curtail fossil fuel use even as they ask abusive authoritarian regimes to make more fossil fuels.
It's an embarrassment.
“Feeling pressure from consumers faced with high gas prices and trying to recover from the economic devastation of 2020, the Biden administration is now urging OPEC+ to increase production to ensure competitive energy markets," Ron Ness, president of the North Dakota Petroleum Council, said in a released statement. "If the White House actually cared about Americans having access to 'affordable and reliable energy, as they claim in their statement, they would be taking every step necessary to facilitate increased production here in America and ease off their plans to regulate our domestic industry out of business. We don’t need OPEC, a cartel made up of nations that wish to do us harm, to produce more oil. We need our leaders to let us do what we do best, produce American oil and support American jobs and economic growth right here at home.”
How do you argue with that?
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Rob Port, founder of SayAnythingBlog.com, is a Forum Communications commentator. Reach him on Twitter at @robport or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.