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(FreedomWire.org) – Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana got it right: Over the past two years, President Joe Biden stalled domestic energy production, begged Saudi Arabia to send more oil to America and drained the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — all in his effort to lower gas prices in advance of the 2022 election.

It’s at the point where the national oil reserve created in 1975 to be available in the event of a national emergency is becoming its own emergency.

Under the Biden administration, the midterm election and spiking gasoline prices created a political crisis for Democrats, one that the president solved by draining 42% of what was in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve when he took office.

Biden abused the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, says Rep. Stephanie Brice of Oklahoma. The 638 million barrels of emergency oil in January of 2021 is down to 371 million barrels in January of 2023.

How much is that in real terms? 371 million barrels is not much more than one barrel per American, which will make enough gasoline to power your car for 280 miles, give or take a hill.

Biden said just before the November election that the administration would, after 18 months of draining the reserve, begin to refill it in the first quarter of 2023. The Department of Energy put out contracts to buy three million barrels of oil from producers at a price between $70-$78 a barrel. It was not much, but it was a start of less than 1%.

The bidding period closed in late December and bids were to be reviewed and awarded on Jan. 13, with deliveries expected to be poured back into Big Hill Strategic Petroleum Reserve in Beaumont, Texas, in February.

It would restore less than 1% of what has been removed from the emergency supply by the administration, but it was a start.

Quietly in January, the Department of Energy decided it did not have any acceptable bids, and simply awarded no bids, without an explanation. There will be no three million barrels put back into the SPR this round and the Department of Energy has clammed up about it.

Reasonable people ask why. While DOE won’t say so, producers don’t think $70 is an attractive price, when all signals point to oil being priced on the exchanges in the $80-$95 range for the foreseeable future. Crude oil prices surged to their highest in seven weeks earlier this week.

House Resolution 21, the Strategic Production Response Act, would put side rails on the Department of Energy by prohibiting the release of crude oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for political purposes. At this point, it appears H.R. 21 is going to get Christmas-treed with as many as 100 amendments and it may lose its momentum or get killed altogether.

The president has vowed to veto the bill in the unlikely event it makes its way to his desk. “He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing,” said Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm in a White House briefing. H.R. 21, she said, “risks raising these gas prices and making it harder to offer Americans relief in the future.”

Biden wants Americans to believe he has lowered gas prices. Here are the facts: In 2021, gas averaged $3.01 a gallon. Today, gas in America averages $3.50, a nearly 17% increase.

Time is marching on for this president. It’s year three of his first term. He promised he’d put oil back in the SPR, and now he cannot deliver on that promise.

While his policies continue to suppress domestic energy production, and demand around the world is exceeding supply, the president has made the nation a less secure place because he traded our national security for power — his own political power.

(FreedomWire.org) – Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm claimed Monday that “international and climate events” were to blame for price increases at the pump.

“It’s obviously based upon international and climate events, so, for example, Winter Storm Elliot pulled two million barrels off the U.S. market,” Granholm said during a White House press briefing. “That crimp in supply causes prices to go up.”

The average price of a gallon of gas is $3.423, up from $3.096 a month ago, according to AAA. Biden has taken credit for lower gas prices in the past, even though a gallon of gas cost an average of $2.1218 on Nov. 3, 2020.

Biden and the White House have often called increased gas prices the “Putin price hike,” but some experts have said Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production has fueled higher gas prices. The Biden administration revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline in January 2021 and cancelled an offshore lease sale in May after issuing new regulations for onshore drilling for oil and natural gas.

Biden authorized the sale of up to 180 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in March, following Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion of Ukraine. The reserve is down to its lowest level since the 1980s, Forbes reported.

“Biden and Secretary Granholm have created an energy crisis by crippling American energy, sending U.S. jobs overseas, and depleting our SPR,” Senate Republicans said in a release.

The Strategic Production Response Act was introduced in the House earlier this month. It would require the Energy Department to develop a plan to increase the percentage of federal areas leased for gas and oil production before releasing oil from the reserve.

Granholm said President Biden will veto a House bill regulating U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve withdrawals.

Granholm said that such proposals risk raising gas prices and are “simply nonstarters,” according to the official White House transcript.

“So I’ll be very clear: If Congress were to pass H.R. 21 (the Strategic Production Response Act), the president would veto it. He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing.”

(FreedomWire.org) – Vice President Kamala Harris on Thursday celebrated the start of construction of a new high-capacity power transmission line between Arizona and California.

During her speech, Harris gave us one of her mesmerizing word salads on the marvels of the world around her.

Harris started with a story of when she was a child and the family would take road trips.

“I remember sitting in the backseat of my mother’s Dodge Dart — it was yellow; she let us pick out the color,” she said, with a laugh. “And we’d be sitting in the backseat, me and my sister, and trying to, you know, figure out how to occupy the time. I’ll date myself by saying sometimes we would occupy the time by counting how many VW Bugs that we saw drive by.”

“But also, sometimes, just looking out the window. And I remember watching the miles and miles of electric wires flash by the window. And it was — it was kind of mesmerizing to just see those lines as we were driving the roads. And those wires, they seemed endless,” she explained, in that nasally voice that can make one’s skin crawl.

Then Harris explained how electricity works.

“Well, let’s think about it. Today, America has more than half a million miles of transmission lines. Enough to wrap around the globe 24 times. These lines connect the power plants, where electricity is created, to homes and businesses and schools and hospitals across our nation,” the vice president continued. “Think about it: Every time you turn on a light or charge your laptop or plug in your air conditioner or put leftovers in the fridge, you rely on the power delivered by our nation’s network of transmission lines.”

Harris was only about 100 miles away from the border with Mexico, but had no plans to visit the border, even though she has been tasked by President Biden to investigate the root causes of the migrant crisis overwhelming border states. 

Harris defended her decision not to visit the southern border by saying,  “I visited the border. I will not on this trip, but I have, and I will again.”

(FreedomWire.org) – FOX News White House correspondent Peter Doocy challenged National Security Council spokesman John Kirby on Monday at the White House press briefing and asked why the president would prefer U.S. oil companies drill in Venezuela for oil rather than in the United States. Doocy asked if President Biden believes there is “some benefit to the climate” to drill for oil in Venezuela and not in the United States.

Doocy asked, “Why is it that President Biden would rather let U.S. companies drill for oil in Venezuela than here in the U.S.?”

John Kirby responded, “That’s not an accurate take on the President’s view.”

Doocy gave an example, “Earlier this month, he said, “No more drilling. There is no more drilling.”

Kirby tried to argue what Biden had said, “The President has issued 9,000 permits for drilling on U.S. federal lands, Peter; 9,000 of them are being unused. There are plenty of opportunities for oil and gas companies to drill here in the United States.” He continued with, “I’ll let Chevron speak for this particular issue of sanctions relief, but our expectation is it won’t be a lot of oil coming out of there. It will have to be shipped to the United States.”

Doocy continued to try to get an answer on why we would need oil from Venezuela, “Does the President think there’s some benefit to the climate to drill oil in Venezuela and not here?”

Kirby answered, “It has nothing to do with a benefit to the climate, Peter. Again, there are 9,000 unused permits here in the United States on federal land that oil and gas companies can and should take advantage of. Nine thousand. And we’re talking about one there in Venezuela. Now, look, it remains to be seen how much will get drilled down there. It’ll be up to Chevron to decide that, Peter. But — but as a function of the sanction itself, that oil, whatever product is drilled, has to come to the United States.”

Now the White House is facing criticism over Kirby suggested there are plenty of available oil drilling permits that energy companies are choosing not to utilize. 

ClimateDepot.com publisher Marc Morano joined “Fox & Friends First” Tuesday to discuss the issues surrounding the permit process and the broader impact of Biden’s policies on the energy market. 

“They had defunded the oil and gas industry from day one through executive orders, through the Treasury Department, through pushing environment, social governance, ESG,” Mauro told co-host Carley Shimkus. “And they’ve also allowed these environmental groups in sometimes in collusion with the feds to sue.”

“So they give a permit, but then they get tied up for years and years and years, and the funding is questionable, and of course, the future permits are questionable, so that is just a red herring argument,” he continued. 

“It’s not like the Biden administration is opposed to energy extraction and drilling, no, they’re just opposed to it domestically for cheap political accounting tricks that claim that they’re fighting global warming while offshoring,” Mauro said. “This is something that Americans have to recognize.”

Former Keystone XL Pipeline worker Neil Crabtree, who lost his job when Biden shut down the pipeline, joined “Fox & Friends” on Tuesday to discuss how red tape has hampered the ability to secure drilling permits. 

“I think it’s a bit of a smoke and mirrors,” Crabtree told Steve Doocy. “There’s a huge difference between the government making leases available and actually issuing the permits. There may be 1,000 spots that we could drill, but the same administration that’s making the leases available also control the permits. And right now, the permitting process in this country is ridiculous.”

“There’s probably a dozen different agencies that have their hands in it, and any one of them can shut you down at any time,” he continued. “I would really like to see something done where one agency controlled the permitting for all energy projects in this country, but that’s probably something that another president will have to tackle.”

Crabtree also mentioned his disappointment in the Biden administration’s willingness to invest in another nation’s energy industry, namely Venezuela’s, while refusing to do the same for American companies. 

“I guess when you support socialist ideas, you support socialist countries,” he said. 

(FreedomWire.org) – “Drill in America–not Venezuela,” tweeted Rep. Andy Biggs (R-Ariz.) on Sunday. But the Biden administration isn’t listening.

On Saturday, the Biden Treasury Department announced it would allow Chevron to “resume limited natural resource extraction operations in Venezuela.” The oil will be exported to the United States.

The announcement said the “targeted sanctions relief” is based on “concrete steps” taken by the socialist Maduro regime to “restore democracy in the country.”

The announcement drew snorts from the many critics of President Biden’s refusal to drill domestically.

“Just one more anti-American act by the Biden administration,” former House Speaker Newt Gringrich told “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning.

“You know, Texas doesn’t have a dictatorship problem. North Dakota doesn’t have a dictatorship problem. Western Pennsylvania doesn’t have dictatorship problem. Why is it that the place they select to buy more oil happens to have a dictatorship, and by the way, the idea that he is going to give up the dictatorship because Biden lets him pump oil is just silly.

“But watch them with Iran, watch them with Saudi Arabia. He’s now forgiven the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia for the killing of a journalist because he wants the oil. Again and again you see the Biden administration make decisions which hurt Americans.

“They’ve also been going around the world promising to give away billions of dollars to dictatorships in the name of climate change. But These are dictatorships that are corrupt and that we have no reason to believe American taxpayers owe them a penny.

“So there’s a continuing process here of weakening America and finding a way to help dictators.”

Gingrich said the Biden administration appears to want a “weaker and weaker America.”

“You will notice that they have not intervened on behalf of the Iranian demonstrators, for example. And their whole policy on natural gas and oil verges on insane. We could be supplying western Europe with a huge volume of American natural gas, which would bring us money, which would strengthen western Europe, which would weaken Russia. 

“We’re not doing any of that, and the result is that western Europeans this winter are going to face a very severe problem, and I think their relationship with us is going to weaken just because of the pain level.” 

Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.) told “Fox News Sunday” there’s no reason to deal with dictators when we have plenty of oil in this country:

“You know, the energy crisis that we’re facing right now in America, much of that has been self-imposed by decisions that were made by this administration early on to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, further delaying the permitting process here domestically.

“I don’t know why we’re going to communist dictatorship. We’re begging OPEC+ to increase production when we have energy right here in America to get the job done.”

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley tweeted: “Rather than creating jobs and unleashing our energy, Biden is willing to buy dirty oil from the brutal socialist regime in Venezuela. We should be doing everything in our power to make America energy dominant.”

(FreedomWire.org) – Top European officials are furious with Joe Biden’s administration and are accusing America of making a fortune from the war in Ukraine according to a report from Politico. Some of the officials swiping at Biden remained anonymous while others did so publicly.

“The fact is, if you look at it soberly, the country that is most profiting from this war is the U.S. because they are selling more gas and at higher prices, and because they are selling more weapons,” one senior official told politico.

“We are really at a historic juncture,” the official added before complaining about trade disruption from U.S. subsidies and high energy prices. “America needs to realize that public opinion is shifting in many EU countries.”

The EU’s chief diplomat Josep Borrell said, “Americans, our friends, take decisions which have an economic impact on us.”

An NSC spokesperson said:

“The rise in gas prices in Europe is caused by Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s energy war against Europe, period.

“The increase in global LNG supplies, led by the United States, helped European allies and partners get storage levels to an encouraging place ahead of this winter, and we will continue to work with the EU, its members, and other European countries to ensure sufficient supplies will be available for winter and beyond.”

European Commissioner for the Internal Market Thierry Breton said: 

“The United States sells us its gas with a multiplier effect of four when it crosses the Atlantic.

“Of course the Americans are our allies, but when something goes wrong it is necessary also between allies to say it.”

Other European officials were furious with Biden over his trade and subsidy policies.

“The Inflation Reduction Act is very worrying,” said Dutch Trade Minister Liesje Schreinemacher. 

“The potential impact on the European economy is very big.”

“The U.S. is following a domestic agenda, which is regrettably protectionist and discriminates against U.S. allies,” said Tonino Picula, the European Parliament’s lead person on the transatlantic relationship.

According to Politico:

It wasn’t until Washington announced a $369 billion industrial subsidy scheme to support green industries under the Inflation Reduction Act that Brussels went into full-blown panic mode.

“The Inflation Reduction Act has changed everything,” one EU diplomat said. “Is Washington still our ally or not?”

For Biden, the legislation is a historic climate achievement.

“While we understand that some trading partners have concerns with how the [electric vehicle] tax credit provisions in the IRA will operate in practice with respect to their producers, we are committed to continuing to work with them to better understand and do what we can to address their concerns,” the NSC spokesperson said. 

“This is not a zero-sum game. The IRA will grow the pie for clean energy investments, not split it.” 

But the EU sees that differently. An official from France’s foreign affairs ministry said the diagnosis is clear: These are “discriminatory subsidies that will distort competition.”

French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire this week even accused the U.S. of going down China’s path of economic isolationism, urging Brussels to replicate such an approach. “Europe must not be the last of the Mohicans,” he said.

(FreedomWire.org) – Speaking from the White House Wednesday afternoon, President Joe Biden announced the release of an additional 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The announcement extends the depletion of the reserve into December as the Biden administration’s war on domestic drilling and forced transition to unreliable alternative energy continues.

When asked by reporters whether the move is political, with gas prices remaining high and cutting into family budgets just three weeks before the 2022 midterm elections, Biden got angry and berated Republicans.

“It’s not politically motivated at all,” Biden said. “It’s motivated to make sure that I continue to push on what I’ve been pushing on, and that is making sure there’s enough oil that’s being pumped by the companies so that we have the ability to be able to produce enough gas that we need here at home, oil we need here at home and at the same time keep moving in a direction of providing for alternative energy.”

The reserve contains about 400 million barrels of oil, and could suffer further depletion as the administration has the option to make additional releases. Which is why many view this move as politically motivated.

Republicans have been firing back and warning of the dangers Biden is imposing on the country by depleting the reserve.

Meanwhile, the Biden administration continues to blame Putin for the price of oil. Peter Schiff points out that the price of oil was up long before Putin’s invasion.

Biden also claimed that his administration has not stopped or slowed production of oil in the U.S. even though he ran on no more drilling and shut down the keystone xl pipeline.

(FreedomWire.org) – Gas prices are starting to creep up again. Despite Joe Biden going hat in hand to Saudi Arabia to beg for more oil production, OPEC gave him the finger and announced that they would be cutting production by two million barrels a day. Joe’s response? He’s going to continue to empty the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by 10 million barrels when it’s already at dangerously low levels and pretend like that’s doing something besides robbing our security for the future. He’s also canceling sanctions on the dictatorial state of Venezuela so that they can pump more and give some to us.

So Biden is willing to go to other countries — no matter how horrible he claims those countries are — to beg for oil but he won’t drop the restrictions on oil production in this country, so we can be energy independent again. He won’t acknowledge how he’s attacked energy production from day one in office, doing things like canceling the Keystone Pipeline. It was half-built. Had that not been canceled, it was scheduled to be finished this year and to begin operations in early 2023. The obvious answer would be to ensure our production, but he won’t do that. President Donald Trump made us a net energy exporter, but Biden has made us a beggar and endangered our national security in the process.

Meanwhile, rather than hold Biden to account, you have some in the liberal media, like MSNBC, pushing conspiracy theories about OPEC’s move rather than pushing Biden with questions about why he doesn’t just unleash our production.

Former Obama adviser Larry Summers appeared on Wall Street Week on Friday and he just demolished Joe Biden and the Democrats’ attack on energy.

“We made a mistake by canceling the Keystone pipeline,” Summers exclaimed. “We made a mistake by slowing down all kinds of permitting activity. We made a mistake by being hostile as a country to natural gas.”

What an evisceration that is. The only thing I would disagree with was it wasn’t a mistake, Biden and the Democrats did it intentionally, to push us precipitously to an anti-energy, green posture. I give Summers credit for being honest and being willing to call out Biden and the Democrats on issues like this — so few Democrats are. But Biden should be the one admitting this, not Summers. Biden was the “mistake” that many people made. We had someone who understood the economy and the importance of energy independence. Now, we now have someone whose elevator doesn’t go all the way to the top and who seems bent on doing what will hurt America.

(FreedomWire.org) – The White House on Wednesday expressed its frustration that OPEC+ had decided to cut production and announced additional releases of America’s oil reserves in an attempt to keep prices low.

“The President is disappointed by the shortsighted decision by OPEC+ to cut production quotas while the global economy is dealing with the continued negative impact of Putin’s invasion of Ukraine,” read a statement from the White House on Wednesday after OPEC+ announced their decision to cut production by 2 million barrels per day.

Now Democrats are “seething” about the decision by OPEC+ to cut oil production by 2 million barrels per day, but they wouldn’t be in this mess if they had embraced policies designed to expand U.S. oil production instead of turning to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

It would be a mild exaggeration to declare that the Biden administration has completely stopped issuing leases for oil and gas drilling on federal lands and in federal waters, but only a mild one. As the Wall Street Journal reported last month, “President Biden’s Interior Department leased 126,228 acres for drilling through Aug. 20, his first 19 months in office, the analysis found. No other president since Richard Nixon in 1969-70 leased out fewer than 4.4 million acres at this stage in his first term.” It’s not a complete halt, but it’s very close to one.

The good news is that there’s still a lot of oil beneath private lands. As of July, the U.S. was producing 11.8 million barrels per day, an increase from the 11.1 million barrels per day produced in January 2021, the month President Biden took office. But before the pandemic hit in early 2020, the U.S. was producing 12.8 million barrels per day, and it even hit 13 million barrels per day in November 2019. We have the proven ability to produce about 1.2 million more barrels per day than we are, if we want to do so and our public policies encourage it. But right now, they do not.

The Biden administration keeps insisting that it’s doing everything it can to bring gas prices down, including releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — which is now at its lowest level in 40 years.

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(FreedomWire.org) – Sen. Joe Manchin’s humiliation was brought to completion on Tuesday after his Democrat-negotiated permitting reform deal officially fell through.

Manchin stabbed Republicans in the back during the summer, waiting until the CHIPS Act passed before doing an about-face on a big-spending reconciliation bill full of “climate change” payoffs. The West Virginia senator had supposedly struck a deal whereby he would pass the falsely named Inflation Reduction Act in exchange for Democrat support for permitting reform for oil and gas projects.

Manchin was playing with fire by trusting his own anti-energy party to follow through.

Manchin is very unlikely to even get any of what he is demanding. House Democrats can easily scuttle the entire thing and likely will. That outline is a best-case scenario, and even then, it delivers almost nothing of substance.

Sure enough, Manchin does not have the votes, and while some of that is because Republicans aren’t going along to get along after being betrayed, the rest of the opposition to sink the measure is coming from inside the house.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer officially pulled the plug in response to the situation.

Manchin made a deal with Democrats to pass a bill that every Republican opposed. He then turned around and thought that he could lobby those same Republicans to support permitting reform, which is what Manchin supposedly received in exchange for his vote for reconciliation. But that payoff was negotiated by Democrats and was supposed to be delivered by Democrats.

The whole thing is just laughably naive, and the math never made any sense at all. Why would the GOP ever consider rewarding Manchin by helping to uphold a deal he made with Democrats in order to pass a boondoggle spending bill no Republican wanted? Never mind that the reconciliation bill was terrible policy that did nothing to help with inflation.

Perhaps Manchin really had become that arrogant as the crucial swing vote over the last several years, believing himself to have more sway than he has. Whatever the reasoning, he’s learning the hard way that Republicans may be suckers, but even they have limits to how much they are willing to get played.

It’s astonishing when you think about it. Manchin nuked his political career for a crappy reconciliation bill in exchange for a false promise from his own party members. All the while, the same people on the left that hated him before still hate him. He gained absolutely nothing from his move and lost everything. I suppose there’s some poetic justice in that.