Gasoline prices at the pump have always fluctuated within a regular epicycle of global oil prices, but the Biden administration’s every policy choice from its first day in office has contributed significantly to this week’s news that gas prices exceed $4 a gallon in all 50 states. President Joe Biden and the Democrats seem determined to repeat every policy mistake of the 1970s, and it might not end until Biden attempts to impose price controls and rationing.
Start with Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on Inauguration Day. This act was more shocking than merely the loss of unionized jobs and an insult to our largest trading partner; it is the first time to my knowledge that any president has canceled a private-sector project that was already under construction.
It is one thing to block a permit; the government does that all the time. It is another thing to revoke a permit already granted absent some malfeasance, and there was none by Keystone alleged.
The Obama State Department concluded years ago that the pipeline would have no impact on climate change, but such is Biden’s slavishness to environmental fundamentalism that he felt compelled to cancel Keystone, which would have transported nearly 1 million barrels of Canadian oil a day and expanded the capacity and resiliency of our petroleum-refining sector. The heavy pressure on America’s oil refineriesright now because of market distortions is one of the chief causes of high pump prices.
Nothing so surely signaled Biden’s hostility to hydrocarbon energy — which provides about 80% of our total energy needs — as this egregious act. And Keystone isn’t the only pipeline Democrats have targeted. They want to shut down several existing pipelines, such as Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline, under a small stretch of Lake Michigan, that transports more than 500,000 barrels of Canadian oil and petroleum products a day to the United States.
The message to the industry is clear: Don’t even think about proposing new pipelines in America.
But the Biden administration didn’t stop there. It attempted to cancel oil and gas drilling permits the Trump administration had processed, and just last week it canceled long-scheduled offshore-drilling auctions, killing new offshore exploration and production for the next several years. (Needless to say, Biden’s plans for offshore-wind-power leases are breezing through the administration’s review process very quickly.)