By Thomas Catenacci
President Joe Biden neglected to mention domestic oil and natural gas production in his plan for addressing spiking energy prices Tuesday.
Biden blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for high pump prices, applauded his administration’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) releases and urged Congress to pass clean energy tax credits to “reduce the average family’s annual utility bills” in an op-ed published by The Wall Street Journal. Overall inflation surged 8.3% over the 12-month period ending in April, near the highest level recorded since early 1982, while the energy index increased a whopping 30.3% year-over-year.
“The price at the pump is elevated in large part because Russian oil, gas and refining capacity are off the market,” the president wrote in the article. “We can’t let up on our global effort to punish Mr. Putin for what he’s done, and we must mitigate these effects for American consumers. That is why I led the largest release from global oil reserves in history.”
Biden, though, didn’t mention domestic oil and gas production, plans to boost supplies or increasing U.S. refining capacity amid the ongoing energy crisis in the op-ed. Fossil fuel industry groups and Republicans have repeatedly urged the federal government to incentivize more drilling, a request the administration has ignored.
The Department of the Interior (DOI), though, canceled all remaining federal offshore lease sales on May 11, including a sale spanning 1.09 million acres in the Cook Inlet in Alaska, and has dragged its feet on issuing a required plan for future sales. The agency also imposed restrictions on the onshore leasing program ahead of a series of upcoming sales in June which it was forced to hold by a federal court.
“We cannot ignore the impact that greenhouse gas emissions have on our climate – that is why the Biden-Harris administration is focused on a clean energy transition that creates good-paying, union jobs while making good on our global commits to reduce our carbon footprint,” a DOI spokesperson told The Daily Caller News Foundation in April.
“President Biden called for no new oil and gas drilling on Day One, and [Secretary Deb Haaland] fully supports that effort,” they continued. “Unfortunately, a series of court challenges and injunctions – which we are appealing – have forced us to proceed with some leasing.”
The president’s three SPR releases had a minimal impact on both oil and gasoline prices, data showed. The average price of gas reached $4.62, an all-time high, on Tuesday, according to a AAA database.
In addition, gasoline prices increased nearly 50% between Biden’s first day in office and the days before Russia invaded Ukraine. Congressional negotiations on a series of climate proposals like clean energy tax credits have also stalled in recent weeks.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment from TheDCNF.