by Steve Milloy, E&E Legal Senior Policy Fellow and Junkscience.com Founder
As appearing on Townhall.com
As the weather turns colder, higher energy prices that consumers have been seeing at the pump are rapidly going to show up on home heating bills. The cost of crude oil, natural gas, and even coal has skyrocketed due to a confluence of factors ranging from U.S. and European energy policies, pandemic-related fluctuations in supply and demand and even low wind production.
In the face of no response to his request that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies (OPEC+) pump more oil, the Biden administration announced it will release millions of barrels of oil from strategic reserves. It’s a good move but inadequate compared to other options Biden declines to pursue, such as asking domestic producers to increase production or issuing new oil and gas leases on federal land. This inaction combined with vigorous finger pointing at energy companies in the form of an FTC investigation into price gouging shows that Biden is merely trying to avoid paying the political cost of presiding over energy inflation by passing the buck to producers.
House Democrats have a complementary strategy: telling energy companies to produce less and trying to intimidate them away from trying to meet domestic and international demand. A recent Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing promised to “expose Big Oil’s disinformation campaign to prevent climate action.” All the committee actually exposed was the senselessness of its jihad against the oil and gas that are the lifeblood of our society.