Any way you slice it, Trump’s energy policy was a success, Biden’s an unmitigated failure. Put all else aside. Numbers tell the real story. Unwritten is the final chapter – November 2022.
After just two years of Trump, in December 2018, the United States became – for the first time in 75 years – an exporter of energy. That stunning fact was a credit to the private sector and policies favoring free markets, innovation, competition, fair taxes, employment, low inflation.
Across the country, even as renewables rooted, fossil fuels were not repudiated. Instead, America’s capacity for energy production, responsive to supply and demand, was tapped.
Domestically, this elevated oil production in Texas, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania. Jobs in extraction, refinement, transportation and last-mile delivery jumped.
Internationally, OPEC’s leverage over the United States, economically and politically, vanished. Reinforcing that positive position, the Trump team isolated Iran with sanctions.
The impact was immediate, and consequential. At home, heating fuel and subsidiary product prices fell, job growth radiated, and energy independence created re-investment.
Abroad, dominos began to fall. Western Europe began to see the US as a source for natural gas, began thinking of realignment, away from dependence on Russia. Resistance to peace accords in the Middle East weakened, bilateral economic bonds tightened, political accords got signed.
On the renewables side, while Trump found the Paris Climate Accords untenable, legally unenforceable, one-sided, weighted toward redistribution of US wealth, the US private sector continued innovating, ironically matching or beating many of the climate accord’s goals.
Then came Biden. Promising to end US reliance on fossil fuels, no consideration for US consumers and energy sector – key to everything – he slammed brakes on energy independence.
No accident, Biden halted the Keystone XL pipeline, pushing that energy to other countries, robbing Americans. He ended oil and gas leasing on federal lands, valuable to Americans.
Through elevated regulation, taxation, economic isolation, Biden kneecapped American fossil fuel production, ending energy independence, to magically make America carbon neutral.
Of course, that is a fairytale idea. The irony was acute, as US unemployment popped, employers went out of business, innovation ended, OPEC swung into action, Russia resumed pressure on Europe, China joined – pressuring countries like Lithuania, and energy costs started to climb.
Dreaming of carbon-free everything crippled American consumers with energy inflation, gas at the pump, heating oil, electricity generally – even before this winter. Biden’s team asked OPEC to raise production. OPEC laughed and stuck it to him – meaning to us, the American consumer.
Russia – incredibly given permission for Nord Stream 2, a pipeline making Europe more dependent on Putin – flipped Biden a hand gesture, and began amassing troops along Ukraine.
Back at home, Biden’s energy follies are about to debut – a hammer blow for struggling Americans. Credible economic analyses, including by US Energy Information Administration, assess “heating costs for American families will increase by 54 percent this winter.”
In detail – even before the inflationary impact of overspending – we are in trouble. Those heating with natural gas will spend 30 percent more, 50 percent more if the winter is cold.
Those heating with propane will pay 54 percent more, 94 percent more if the winter is colder. Those heating with oil – most of New England – will pay 43 percent more, 59 percent if colder. See, e.g., U.S. Energy Information Administration.
So, what does this mean? Another major misjudgment by the Biden Administration. They have answered critics by suggesting COVID money will help, use of the national security-focused petroleum reserve, and – while China gets a pass – climate control means shiver and pay.
We will see if that strategy works. American families – tens of millions – will be paying more for energy – thanks to Biden. His approach is objectively a fool’s errand, poorly conceived. It has crippled the US energy sector, ended independence, spiked energy costs, added to unemployment, encouraged adversaries, punished allies, and is putting America at risk.
All this need not have happened. It is just more proof the Administration has no idea what it is doing, pushing ill-conceived macro-policies, free money until inflation consumes our dollar, and putting an increasing number of hardworking Americans of all parties in harm’s way.
This winter promises to be a budget buster, testing America’s capacity to stay warm, solvent, and resilient. We did not need this but are here. Grab a blanket. Welcome to Biden’s energy disaster.
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