by Frank Mazur
Some analysts estimate gas will approach $8/gallon. Goldman Sachs predicts crude oil will surge to $140 a barrel; it was $68 in 2019. People gasp paying $80 per fill-up. How did we get here?
President Biden declared war on fossil fuels the day he took office. His green new-deal executive order shut down pipelines and ceased drilling on Federal lands. The number of operating drilling rigs on 1/2019 was 1061 compared to 531 today. Biden is now begging Venezuela, Iran and Saudi Arabia for oil.
We currently have 124 refineries, half the number a few years ago. There hasn’t been a new refinery built since 1976 because regulations forced refiners to close or cut production. Biden is committed to put them out of business. Refiners are operating at 95 percent capacity and deferring maintenance to meet demand. Political uncertainty also discourages any capacity investments.
To reduce fuel shock, Biden proposed suspending the Federal fuel tax for 3 months which will exacerbate inflation. Biden’s only real solution is promoting electric cars, taking buses or ride Amtrak.
Plans to reduce gas pump shock are in permitting new pipelines and drilling rigs, increasing refining capacity and investment using incentive regulations in effect 18 months ago.
Biden’s green warriors are throwing confetti because oil production and refineries are winding down. A massive crisis is on its way since nearly all food we eat and products purchased are brought to market by trucks and/or made with fossil fuel. It’s a crisis of Biden’s own creation.
The author is a South Burlington resident and former Republican legislator.