Two things happened after the Jan. 20th inauguration, the number of COVID-19 infections started going down, and the price of gas started going up.
While both factors influence America’s economy, red states likely worry more about fuel prices as the coronavirus seems increasingly under control.
Just in the last 30 days, according to AAA, the price of regular gas at its cheapest has increased between 16 cents a gallon (in Hawaii) and 57 cents a gallon (Arizona).
On Jan, 19, AAA reported that the average national price of gas was $2.38. Today, it’s $2.77. That’s a 16.4 percent spike in less than seven weeks.
A few months back, Saudi Arabia announced that it was cutting production in an effort to raise prices as COVID had suppressed demand.
But The Wall Street Journal reported in mid-February that the Saudis were weighing whether to open the spigots since prices had indeed gone up.
John Hofmeister, the former CEO of Shell Oil, identified one key 78-year-old reason for spiking prices at the pump unrelated to global oil markets – Biden.
“The reason gasoline is coming back up is we’ve been in a shutdown period for many of the refineries, and so that puts a squeeze on what’s available in terms of the final product,” Hofmeister told Fox Business Channel’s Maria Bartiromo recently.
“But there’s something else that’s going on that’s more subtle. What that is, is that the industry, the producers, are practicing serious capital discipline and they’re not roaring back to produce more oil. And also, they’re getting squeezed by the administration.”
“So the ban on leasing — the prohibition on new leases from the Biden administration — that’s going to create a psychology in the industry of, ‘There’s going to be less available,’ and the psychology drives the pricing as well,” Hofmeister added.
“As long as we see this hostile administration, we’re going to have a problem with prices.”
While the fact-checkers in recent weeks have whirled into overdrive to dispel the notion that Biden is to blame for higher gas prices they don’t address what Hofmeister discussed: the Biden administration’s psychological warfare on Big Oil.
Hofmeister noted the ban on new leases.
But he didn’t mention Biden’s slaying of the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office, and a slew of executive orders he signed during his first week.
Among those orders were directives to power the U.S. with 100 percent “clean” electricity by 2035, to ensure all federal vehicles will be electric, to double offshore wind power by 2030, and to end fossil fuel subsidies.
“We’ve already waited too long to deal with the climate crisis. We cannot wait any longer,” Biden said in late January in signing those orders.
“Our climate plans are ambitious. But we are America. We are unwavering in our commitment to innovation.”
Left unsaid, however, was the progress the U.S. has made in slashing carbon emissions.
According to the data-centric website Statista.com, U.S. carbon emissions have been on a downward trajectory, even with the fossil-fuel friendly Donald Trump in the White House.
Statista notes that in 2019, emissions were 15 percent below the recent peak charted in 2007, hitting a level not seen since 1993.
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