One month after Trump became president, February 2017, crude oil stood at $67.62 a barrel. By July 2020, after ramped up production and COVID, oil was $24.21 a barrel. By April 2022, oil hit $110.45 a barrel. Why? We thought we knew. Now we really know.
The going-in theory was that Biden – preoccupied by climate change, sure renewables will replace oil and gas, and oblivious to China’s pollution – dramatically cut US fossil fuels, radically raising US prices.
This was true. On and after January 20, 2021, Biden has issued punitive, increasingly restrictive executive orders, regulations, and expensive legislation – passed by single-party government – intended to shut down big parts of the US fossil fuel industry.
Not satisfied to shut down supply, the federal government has – with and without legislation – methodically perverted the demand side of the curve, too. After making gas and heating oil prohibitively expensive, they penalized makers of automobiles and countless gas-powered household appliances.
Specifically, they have punished makers of gas powered engines, cars, trucks, boats, lawnmowers, hammered the energy, construction, transportation, and farm sectors, then turned to appliances, aiming to outlaw everything from gas and wood stoves to refrigerators and water heaters.
The Democrat idea, fueled by activists, is to mandate everything by fiat. The Soviets dealt this way, Chinese still do. Biden’s “make it all electric” mandate sees wind turbines and solar panels covering the Earth, powering the grid, now 80 percent fossil and nuclear. By magic, wind and sun will run it all.
Never mind that the fragile, aging electric power grid cannot absorb more demand, is on last legs. Forget the fossil fuel reserves and a century and a half of reliance and infrastructure; la-la energy will do it.
Lest we worry about gird vulnerability – once locked in – China, North Korea, Russia, and Iran will not notice that one hack shuts us down. They will be working on their own “vulnerability advantage” and energy virtue, electric tanks, solar-powered missile launchers, and rickshaw-toted, ethanol rockets – not.
This approach – intentionally disincentivizing and gradually shutting down the US fossil fuel sector and advantage – is almost suicidal, since no US adversary and no other nation is doing anything like this.
But the latest revelation should put a fork in this whole idea, and here it is. While many thought Biden was just about doing good, turns out he was happy to hurt Americans, to keep China happy.
What? Yes, turns out that – as Biden clamped down on US oil production, sending gas prices through the roof – he was secretly talking with the China about selling oil directly from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which ironically was intended to protect us from adversaries, like China.
In revelations emerging last week, Biden’s Energy Secretary apparently had secret meetings with China to assure the Communist Party that the price of US oil and gas would not rise. They were allowed to buy it cheap from our SPR, to build their own strategic petroleum reserve (presumably to use in a war, for example with us).
Biden secretly promised China cheap oil from our SPR, then gave it to them as part of the 180 million barrels released in November 2021, and again late 2022. And China – created a record SPR from it.
If this is hard to believe, it should be. Why would any US President – with Americans reeling from double oil and gas prices (especially older Americans), ironically from his own policies – raise prices higher?
But Biden did. Although he released SPR oil just before election day 2022, dropping the price from $110.45 to $88.25 a barrel (a craven political act in itself), his pro-China policies – selling SPR oil cheap for their SPR – kept US consumer prices abnormally high, well above 2020’s $24.21 and 2017’s $67.62.
Selling our SPR to China? Who would do this? No one in their right mind, so far as a sensible reader can understand. Don’t all presidents put Americans first? It is over, but Biden’s judgment is “bottom of the barrel,” his integrity absent, and motives – especially on China – plainly mixed.
Bottom line: Trying to understand the web of Biden’s unfolding lies, untold stories, and acts of misdirection – is a fulltime job – especially on China. Just keep your tank full, and eyes open.
Robert Charles is a former Assistant Secretary of State under Colin Powell, former Reagan and Bush 41 White House staffer, attorney, and naval intelligence officer (USNR). He wrote “Narcotics and Terrorism” (2003), “Eagles and Evergreens” (2018), and is National Spokesman for AMAC.