BEHRENS: Joe Biden’s Energy Bait And Switch

Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

Larry Behrens Contributor
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Don’t be too hard on yourself if you missed President Joe Biden’s Good Friday announcement reopening a small fraction of the federal lands he closed for new oil and gas development, because that was his intention.

As always, Biden’s “solution” to our energy problems comes with some ugly caveats. For starters, he’s only reopening 20% of the land controlled by his bureaucrats in DC. He is also  raising the cost of that production. Apparently, he feels gas prices are just too darn low.

Above all else, Biden’s latest move destroyed the lies he’s pushed for months on gas price and inflation. Biden has repeatedly told us he “can’t do much” about record gas prices. He would then claim the massive energy costs are definitely not his fault. According to Biden, the culprits include: OPEC, oil companies, COVID, “transitory” inflation and, of course, Russia. The Biden administration, and their chorus in the media, scoffed when many pointed out that Biden’s actions, such as cancelling the Keystone pipeline and closing federal lands, were the real reasons for the gas hike.

Make no mistake: opening more federal lands is something Joe Biden could and should have done a year ago when gas prices were already creeping up. However, the party in DC was too busy ignoring working families to care. Back on Memorial Day 2021, White House press secretary Jen Psaki told you not to worry about gas prices because you weren’t paying that much. We all remember last December when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee broke their arm patting Biden on the back over a temporary two cent drop in gas prices. As prices rose through all of 2021, the Biden administration kept federal lands closed to development all while blaming everyone but themselves.

Biden’s latest energy flip-flop should put to rest his excuse that Putin’s invasion is the sole reason for high gas prices. The White House communications staff can post #PutinsPriceHike all they want, but when Joe Biden has to completely reverse course to try and fix the problem … the problem extends beyond a Russian autocrat.

Since the calendar changed to 2022 and Joe Biden suddenly realized that his party might pay a political price for his energy failures, the president has trotted out a litany of excuses. He’s released a record amount of oil from the strategic oil reserve, and he now wants to truck more oil from Canada. His latest trick comes with a more expensive price tag.

President Biden is trying to bait-and-switch the American public on energy by taking actions that can easily be reversed after November’s election. He doesn’t want to re-start the Keystone pipeline to bring us more energy; instead he wants to use trucks. He doesn’t want to fully open federal lands because that will be harder to undo come December. The president knows any permanent move toward increasing American energy production will upset his radical environmental campaign donors too much. They are already fuming. The far left Sierra Club called Friday’s announcement a, “handout to Big Oil at the expense of average Americans.”

Biden only wants to look like he’s doing something because it’s an election year. He doesn’t actually want to do anything.

Do you notice a pattern in Biden’s “solutions?” They’re all ineffective, temporary and designed to fix his problem in the polls, not your problem at the pump.

The president may release his flip flop announcements on any Friday evening he wants, but Americans know we can’t bait-and-switch our way back to energy independence.

Larry Behrens is a former Silver City resident and the Communications Director for Power The Future, a non-profit that advocates for America’s energy workers. You can find him on Twitter @larrybehrens or you can email him: larry@powerthefuture.com