All across the United States, Americans are suffering from a missing energy and economic policy—a hindrance that has wrought havoc for families and their budgets over the last six months—and the only thing the Biden Administration is providing are mixed messages. This is most effectively illustrated by the Administration saying they are green lighting oil and gas activity, yet all the while they are throwing regulatory roadblocks and red lights at every turn.
Consumers have long known that these economic woes are not “transitory” or simply the results of geopolitical unrest. In May, those costs included a 5.5 percent increase in housing, an 11.9 percent increase for groceries, and a whopping 48.7 percent increase in gasoline. The impact of these costs, and a general inflation rate nearing 9 percent, means Americans will continue to pay more to get the same.
And all of these economic woes are at best the product of complete lack of a coherent economic or energy plan, and a clearly misguided understanding of the economics that are in play in these matters, or at worst, they are intentional efforts of creating unsustainable and unaffordable access to energy for millions of Americans.
Eight months ago, we wrote “The president has at his disposal more than 10 million energy workers looking to re-chart America’s path back to energy independence and energy security, all the while protecting our nation’s natural resources and the environment better than any foreign producers would even consider. With pro-energy policies American oil and gas workers would have no trouble producing energy for Americans and exporting it to our allies abroad.”
And yet, despite that foretelling, the Biden Administration continues to plot a course towards energy scarcity with every agency action, while publicly considering short sided policies that can only act like baling wire and duct tape to a disjointed and failing economic and energy policy that is costing Americans more and driving our nation into recession.
For example, the administration this year alone has begun releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and has asked Russia and other Middle Eastern nations (as part of OPEC+) to produce more energy. He has also reached out to China and even sought to visit with Latin American leaders for the same purpose—for more energy.
The Administration has known that demand was coming and Americans needed relief.
However in the same year the Biden Administration has also limited oil and gas opportunities on state and federal lands that they solely control and in the first 9 days in office, the Administration unveiled three orders alone which further restricted oil and gas development in the United States.
And recently, only after losing a lawsuit, has the Administration begun working to lease more oil and gas. However, the lead time for those to become developed are also hindered by long delays in permitting that the federal government also oversees.
The federal government and the Biden Administration yet continue to take aim at oil and gas development, recently articulating new proposals from the EPA that would continue to utilize the Endangered Species Act to limit areas of production in the Permian Basin, as well as launching a new and wholly unwarranted effort to move the Permian Basin into ozone non-attainment—a move which would have a devastating effect on the region’s ability to continue to lead the nation in oil and gas production. It makes absolutely no sense for the Administration to attempt to strangle the most prolific oil and gas basin—one which produces more than 40 percent of our nation’s crude oil.
And the Administration isn’t stopping there. They have begun targeting capital investment in this sector with new rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission that would further hamper the sector from providing relief to Americans.
These examples fully illustrate the absolute lack of regulatory certainty or a coherent policy focused on energy development in the United States, which has continued to produce more oil and gas, with a better environmental record, than anywhere in the world.
PBPA and our members continue to ask the Biden Administration to view our members and their efforts as partners in solving his energy crisis and in the meantime we will continue to safely and responsibly produce our region’s natural resources for the benefit of Americans and our allies abroad.