Yielding to pressure from Congress, President Biden announced March 8 that the U.S. would ban imports of oil from Russia, and then took advantage of his declaration to blame rising prices on Russian dictator Vladimir Putin. He even coined a new phrase – “Putin’s price hike” – in an attempt to deflect blame for the issue that has risen to the top of voters’ concerns. Our president would have us believe Putin’s war of conquest is the cause of the price spikes making life difficult for us here in the U.S.
One of two things is true – either Biden knows this is false, and is deliberately lying to us; or he actually believes it is true, in which case he’s not competent. Either way, it raises troubling questions about his fitness to serve as president.
Blaming Putin for the rise in U.S. inflation misses the mark by more than a year. On the day Joe Biden was sworn in as president, the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. was $2.38. On the day before Vladimir Putin’s tanks rolled into Ukraine, the average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. was $3.53. That’s a 48 percent hike that took place during the 13 months of the Biden presidency that occurred before the first Red Army boot stepped onto Ukrainian soil, and it had nothing to do with Russia.
Instead, it had everything to do with the American economy responding to energy and climate policies undertaken and imposed by the Biden Administration as part of a deliberate plan to reduce U.S. dependence on fossil fuels and shift to “renewables,” so-called “green” energy.
The surge in inflation began on the day Biden took the oath of office. Upon returning to the White House, he signed a number of executive orders regarding energy and climate, each of which had the (intended) effect of sending signals to stakeholders: he signed an order to rejoin the Paris climate accords, committing the U.S. to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions in coming years; he signed an order revoking the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline that would have transported oil from Canada to U.S. refineries, and immediately threw tens of thousands out of work and closed numerous businesses; he issued a moratorium on the leasing program for gas and oil activities in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge; he reinstated President Obama’s Executive Order 13754 and the Dec. 20, 2016 Presidential Memorandum designating as off-limits certain areas of the Outer Continental Shelf in the Arctic from mineral leasing; he repealed Trump executive orders that imposed limits on federal government environmental reviews; he suspended the Interior Department’s authority to issue approvals for oil and gas development on federal lands, including drilling permits and leases; and he announced plans to almost triple the percentage of the nation’s land controlled by the federal government.
The message he sent was loud, and clear, and heard: Under his “leadership,” the U.S. would move away from energy production based on fossil fuels. It should surprise no one that the effect of these policies, taken together, would be higher prices for energy.
Making matters worse is Biden’s apparent response to his declared ban on Russian oil imports (which account for about 8 percent of U.S. imports) – instead of calling up the heads of America’s largest oil companies and asking what the federal government could do to help them produce more energy more quickly, he sent underlings to reach out to the leader of Venezuela (a man Biden does not even officially recognize as the leader of his country) and – get this! – Iran (from which we cannot even legally import oil, because Iranian oil is sanctioned) to see if he could get them to send more oil our way.
When the White House attempted to arrange phone calls between Biden and the leaders of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, both leaders declined the offer.
We didn’t have this problem under President Trump. Under President Trump, in fact, in 2019 – for the first time in 62 years – U.S. energy production exceeded consumption.
What did President Trump know that President Biden doesn’t? Apparently, a lot.
Jenny Beth Martin is honorary chairman of Tea Party Patriots Action.