The White House Needs To End Its Embarrassing, Petulant War On US Oil
Submitted by QTR’s Fringe Finance
As it relates to inflation, the Biden administration has publicly shot itself (and the middle class) in the foot and, rather than address their errors and admit wrongdoing, they have instead been unfairly using the oil and gas industry as a scapegoat for problems that the administration helped create.
Among the statements Biden and his cohorts have made over the last few months are:
“At a time of war – historically high refinery profit margins being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable” – President Biden, June 15, 2022
“This is not the time to sit on record profits, it’s time to step up for the good of your country” – President Biden, March 31
“The crunch that families are facing deserves immediate action. Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis” – President Biden, June 15, 2022
“Exxon made more money than god” – President Biden, June 10, 2022
“80% of Americans support a Windfall Profits Tax on Big Oil companies. These corporations are making billions in war-fueled profits while Americans struggle at the pump. We must crack down on Big Oil’s massive profits & reduce reliance on fossil fuels,” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, April 24, 2022
“Russia’s war in Ukraine has caused gas prices to rise for Americans, but giant oil corporations like [Exxon] are making billions in record profits. We need a Windfall Profits Tax to tax big oil on their profits & we need to invest in clean energy too,” – Sen. Elizabeth Warren, April 7, 2022
But as CNBC astutely noted days ago:
“Refiners can’t just ramp up output, with utilization rates already above 90%.”
And part of the lack of infrastructure to produce more supply is a result of the left’s very own, incessant push for greener fuels:
“Additionally, some refiners are now being reconfigured to make alternate products like biofuel.”
I noted this past week on Twitter that the vilification simply doesn’t make sense. People on the left use petroleum-based products just like people on the right – and no one from government was concerning themselves with oil and gas in the slightest when the price of oil crashed in April 2020 and Exxon lost over $20 billion that year. There was no concern for the families who worked for Exxon and there was little chatter out of the White House at all.
Certainly, the government outrage about the effects of oil & gas on the middle class – when it meant financial struggles for an employer of 64,000 people – was missing in action. I guess no one really cared about those families…
On the contrary, the occasional headline that popped about oil in 2020 was usually someone dancing on the grave of the industry:
But all of a sudden, now that these companies are doing something “evil”, like turning a profit, they have once again become hellish juggernauts that must be stopped at all costs.
It’s so clear this isn’t just a leftist war about clean energy, it’s a war on capitalism and profitability. The left absolutely hates that oil companies make money. Biden recently complained they are “making more money than god” but failed to say they “lost more money than god” when they burned through $20 billion in 2020.
Leftists politicians believe these companies simply don’t deserve it. The left wants a state planned economy where they dictate which companies are virtuous enough for them to be the bearer of profits, regardless of how integral the products or services are to them in their daily lives.
And as we see, as these companies return back to profitability, all of a sudden it’s important to immediately denounce them. This is a war on capitalism.
Last week, what can only be described as an ongoing campaign of harassment and wholly misguided vilification of the oil and gas industry finally met some pushback in the form of CEOs who wrote to the Biden administration, defending their businesses and their industry.
Chevron CEO Mike Wirth noted that the company produced its highest volume of supply in its 143 year history in 2021 and that it was investing $10 billion to reduce emissions. He also wrote:
“Addressing this situation requires thoughtful action and a willingness to work together, not political rhetoric.”
“Chevron and its 37,000 employees work every day to help provide the world with the energy it demands and to lift up the lives of billions of people who rely on these supplies. Notwithstanding these efforts, your Administration has largely sought to criticize, and at times vilify, our industry. These actions are not beneficial to meeting the challenges we face and are not what the American people deserve.”
And Wirth is right. For the last decade, oil and gas has been the punching bag of the left, whether the topic has been climate change, the economy or inequality: the left has figured out a way to somehow make oil and gas the enemy – all while they enjoy the fruits of the energy and petroleum produced by these companies.
For those that don’t know how ubiquitous petroleum is, here’s a list of 140 common items that use petroleum hydrocarbons.
The list, in addition to oil and gas, includes items like shampoo, speakers, luggage, golf balls, dishes, hair curlers, house paint, surfboards, petroleum jelly, vitamin capsules, panty hose, shag rugs, ballpoint pens and upholstery.
And here’s a great diagram for the next time your activist friend puts their makeup on and preps for that big anti-fossil fuel rally:
Surely, nobody on the left screaming critiques of the industry uses these products, right?
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This vilification of the industry (and the hundreds of thousands of American families that it helps support) has been completely uncalled for and has gone on for far too long.
People on the left side of the aisle are beneficiaries of hydrocarbons and petroleum-based products just like the rest of the world is.
But the anti-energy rhetoric has been ratcheted up over the last six months while the current Presidential administration looks for someone to blame for skyrocketing oil prices.
The truth of the matter – as Jerome Powell himself confirmed last week – is that inflation had begun before Russia invaded Ukraine, but sanctions placed on Russian oil and gas exacerbated an energy imbalance that was already underway. This imbalance dovetailed from a demand spike, thanks to the Covid reopening, and limited supply, thanks to oil prices crashing in 2020 and OPEC being stingy with how much supply they allow into the market.
Instead of just acknowledging this seemingly innocuous reality of the situation and committing to the American people to help bring new supply online, the Biden administration – and its cohorts on the left – are playing the “blame game”, spinning up fictitious accusations about price gouging at the pump and unfair business practices, none of which can be proven or substantiated.
And while some of the blame for inflation in the country can be placed on the Trump administration – after all, Trump pushed hard for easy money policies from the Fed – the Biden administration has only served to exacerbate it, pushing for trillions more in new spending and entertaining horrifically inefficient ideas like the Green New Deal.
Every day, the Biden administration talks about how it wants to help the middle class – but this must not include the 7.5 million people that make their living from the energy industry.
Every day, the Biden administration talks about how it wants to lower energy prices – but this must not include tactics like bringing new domestic supply online.
And every day, the Biden administration talks about combating inflation, yet it continues to push grandiose spending plans.
The administration’s left hand literally doesn’t know what its right hand is doing. So what’s all this bitching, moaning and carrying on about oil for?
The solutions that the administration has come up with – namely, releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve and playing the blame game – are impotent and meaningless. They do almost nothing to address the problem on a long-term scale.
And so let me say clearly what oil and gas CEO’s failed to: it’s time to stop the charade.
If President Biden wanted to get serious about the energy crisis, he would go out of his way to incentivize new supply to come online in the United States and treat oil and gas companies with respect. New supply in the U.S. would prove to be a far better, longer-term solution. We could help cap prices and also reduce our dependence on foreign oil.
Yet, in what can only be described as a baffling display of hypocrisy, “Mr. Equality” Joe Biden would rather travel to the Middle East – you know, that group of countries where being gay is legally punishable by death and where journalists are murdered for saying the wrong thing – so he can grovel at their feet to bring more supply online.
These are the guys he’s begging for oil right now:
It really goes to show how all the lip service about equality and human rights truly means nothing to the left when it comes down to brass tacks. The idea of begging the Middle East for more oil, while publicly detesting our own energy infrastructure despite the fact that companies like Exxon are ahead of their net zero carbon emission goals, is reprehensible.
The energy crisis is partly an American-created problem. President Biden needs to pull his head out of his ass and realize that there is also an American made solution…
…if he could simply get over his disdain for capitalism and U.S. corporations.
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Tue, 06/28/2022 – 13:05