- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 13, 2024

President Biden’s war on affordable energy has cost Americans a quarter-trillion dollars. That’s according to the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, which issued a report last week calculating the cumulative economic loss caused by the administration’s animus toward fossil fuels.

Since 2021, when Mr. Biden started his crackdown on oil and natural gas production, America’s crude oil production nose-dived to the tune of 2.4 billion barrels. The artificially constricted fuel supply drove up prices, creating a squeeze play that vaporized a net $250 billion in U.S. GDP.

It was different under President Donald Trump. As the world’s top oil producer, we had finally achieved the goal of exporting more oil than we consumed domestically. Abundance kept oil prices at an average of $54 per barrel. Then Mr. Biden moved into the Oval Office.

His term in office commenced with a barrage of dictates meant to sabotage American energy leadership. He rejoined the Paris climate agreement, which favors energy-production technologies sourced from China. He proposed tax increases on oil and natural gas producers. He’s trying to ban the sale of gasoline-powered cars.

Mr. Biden’s executive orders placed public land off-limits for new drilling and canceled crucial projects such as the Keystone XL pipeline. He imposed draconian environmental rules designed to curtail oil and gas production. The administration’s imposition of sanctions on Russia and sabotage of the Nord Stream pipeline strangled worldwide supply, driving prices skyward.

Inflation-adjusted oil prices jumped to $82 per barrel, and productivity gains were lost. Had prices remained constant, production levels would have maintained a steady upward trajectory. Economists with the Committee to Unleash Prosperity estimate domestic production would have reached 19 million barrels per day. 

Over the course of Mr. Biden’s 3½ years in office, those missing daily barrels add up to 2.4 billion barrels. To mask the sticker shock at the pump, Mr. Biden has been draining the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — particularly as Election Day nears. Mr. Trump left office with 640 million barrels in reserve, but now just 370 million barrels remain.

As Mr. Trump said at a campaign rally last week, this is about more than the economy. The administration’s moves have serious foreign policy consequences. “We were energy independent for the first time ever,” said the former commander in chief, “and now we’re begging Venezuela for oil.”

Mr. Trump argues that Russia would not have been able to invade Ukraine on his watch because oil prices were too low, and Iran’s ambitions were likewise checked by cheap crude. Mr. Trump threatened, for example, to impose “huge” tariffs on Chinese products if Beijing attempted to buy oil from Iran. Once Mr. Biden took over, President Xi Jinping knew he could import 10% of China’s oil from Iran, and the “big guy” wouldn’t do anything about it.

Those are the most obvious examples of the global instability that results from indulging the climate crazies and their push to replace cheap, abundant energy with fragile solar panels and eagle-slicing windmills.

The good news is voters have a chance to chart a new course in November, one that will reclaim a quarter-trillion dollars in prosperity.

Copyright © 2024 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide