Gas prices are on the rise. Again. Consumers are grumbling. The Biden administration is fretting. And Republicans are licking their chops, eager to malign Biden’s green agenda as the reason gas prices are spiking.
Good Job, President Joe Biden? U.S. Oil Production Is Making a Comeback
But the Republicans are conveniently overlooking a simple and crucial fact.
The United States is producing more oil than ever before.
And the United States is producing more oil than any other nation on Earth.
Meaning that it’s not a Democrat-led environmental-focused constriction on oil production that’s causing a fuel price spike. Rather, the rise in prices despite such high oil production demonstrates that the US is at the mercy of the global market, which “drives the fuel prices that shape presidents’ political futures.”
“Events far beyond the nation’s borders will play a sizable role in voters’ verdict on “Bidenomics” – as global oil prices rise and fall in response to banking conditions in Europe, China’s slumping real estate market, Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine and the latest maneuvers by Saudi Arabia,” POLITICO reported.
Of course, the GOP assessment of oil prices won’t be so nuanced – and neither will the average citizen’s.
“The U.S. consumer blames whoever is in the White House,” said Quincy Krosby, the chief global strategist for financial advisory firm LPL Financial, in reference to high gasoline prices. “Biden’s people have to be watching this despite a stronger economy, which is an irony.”
US energy market still vulnerable to geopolitics
According to POLITICO, the current US energy economy, in which oil prices are still so vulnerable to geopolitics, is a disappointing outcome.
Experts had hoped that in becoming an energy superpower, the US would be immune to the complex and temperamental international happenings that caused such volatile energy pricing.
Walter Russell Mead, for example, “predicted in 2018 that abundant U.S. energy supplies would enable enery markets to “shrug off geopolitical shocks,” while Ed Morse, a long-time oil market analyst, foresaw in 2015 U.S. oil production would drive prices down sharply and herald “the end of OPEC.””
OPEC still dictates the international fuel market; however; OPEC decisions made in Vienna still determine U.S. fuel prices, despite US efforts to pump enough oil domestically to mitigate those decisions.
And indeed, the U.S. has pumped a lot of oil.
“U.S. oil production is forecast to average an all-time high of 12.8 million barrels a day this year and keep growing to 13.1 million in 2024,” POLITICO reported. “That’s up from the most recent trough of 5 million barrels a day in 2008, and probably enough to help the U.S. to keep its title as the No.1 global crude oil producer.”
Despite the reality of U.S. oil production, Republicans have locked in on rising oil prices out of rote habit.
Former Vice President Mike Pence, for example, recently filmed a campaign ad in which he fuels his pickup truck while criticizing Biden’s energy policies for “causing real hardship.”
Former UN ambassador Nikki Haley promised “to bring oil production back to the United States” – which is completely nonsensical given that the U.S. is the world’s largest producer of oil. Similarly, Senator Tim Scott said that the Biden administration “has shut down energy production in America.”
“Why won’t this President tap into our abundant energy resources here at home and bring down prices at the pump?” Scott asked.
If oil prices don’t subside, Biden will need to find a way to counter the Republicans misleading messaging.
Harrison Kass is the Senior Editor and opinion writer at 19FortyFive. An attorney, pilot, guitarist, and minor pro hockey player, Harrison joined the US Air Force as a Pilot Trainee but was medically discharged. Harrison holds a BA from Lake Forest College, a JD from the University of Oregon, and an MA from New York University. Harrison listens to Dokken.
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