No one can now rationally suggest that President Joe Biden isn’t trying to do something about the sharp rise in gas prices at the pump. At least that’s what he would like people to think.
The real near-term question, however, is whether Biden’s decision to tap into our nation’s strategic petroleum reserve, releasing an average of one million barrels of oil a day over the next six months, will have any effect. real.
And that’s only part of the problem. The reserve drawdown of 180 million barrels – by far the biggest release since the reserves were created in the 1970s – should be seen as a loan that will have to be repaid. As such, the White House needs to start talking coherently about oil production and oil producers.
Rather than demonize fossil fuels at nearly every opportunity, focusing on climate change with near-evangelical zeal, the Biden administration would do well to acknowledge the reality: We’re going to burn oil and natural gas — and even carbon. coal – for many, many years. to come. We’re not going to transition to clean energy anytime soon, no matter how badly the green dreamers want it.
What we need here and now is more oil. We needed it before Russia invaded Ukraine, and the bad situation we already had in our hands only got worse with the war.
Thankfully, Biden acknowledged that fact in his White House address on Thursday, saying, “At the end of the day, if we want lower prices, we need to have more oil supply right now.”
Fairly true. The release of oil from reserves is not nothing, but it is only a temporary measure. Biden acknowledged that, too, saying, “The action I’m calling for will make a difference over time, but the truth is, it takes companies months, not days, to ramp up production.
“This is a wartime bridge to increase oil supply until production increases later this year.”
Good. If he really wants producers to increase production, he should send a clear signal that he will not turn around and stand in their way once things, and gas prices, stabilize. A coherent policy would consider today, tomorrow, in 30 years.