Conservative Legal Group Launches Probe Into Biden Admin Over National Diesel Crisis

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Jack McEvoy Energy & Environment Reporter
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The America First Legal Foundation (AFL) has sent Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) requests to several federal agencies to probe the Biden administration over its potential role in the nationwide diesel shortage that threatens to shut down supply chains.

Diesel stockpiles in the U.S. are at their lowest point heading into winter in 70 years, alarming the Biden administration and energy providers alike. AFL, a conservative legal group, sent FOIA requests to the Energy Department (DOE) and Transportation Department and Agriculture Department (USDA) to determine whether the government played a role in exacerbating the “potential catastrophe” that shortages could cause. (RELATED: The Country Is In The Middle Of A Diesel Crisis — And The Biden Admin Is Making It Worse, Experts Say)

“We believe there is a straight line between Biden’s policies and the market’s behavior … it is beyond doubt that within the span of just two years, America became a net energy exporter to a net importer — dependent on foreign sources of oil,” AFL Senior Counselor and Director of Oversight Reed D. Rubinstein said in a statement provided to the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Diesel is produced by refining crude oil; however, the Biden administration has continuously imposed environmental policies which have damaged refiners’ output, according to experts. The Environmental Protection Agency in April rescinded exemptions that would have allowed 36 smaller refiners to avoid blending renewable biofuels into diesel even though the refiners claimed that this would hike costs and decrease output, according to an agency docket.

A worker walks around a tanker truck at the Chevron Products Company El Segundo Refinery on January 26, 2022 in El Segundo, California. (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty Images)

President Joe Biden has blamed oil and gas companies for not investing enough money to help ramp up refining capacity and threatened to tax their windfall profits on Oct. 31. The American Petroleum Institute and the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers, two trade groups that represent major energy companies, argued that the plan would raise prices for consumers and further discourage investment.

“We intend to release any findings to the public so that the citizens affected by these policies can see what the government knew, and when they knew about this impending diesel shortage,” Rubinstein stated. “Congress is interested in this issue and may well conduct their own investigations.”

Diesel is often used to heat homes during the winter in New England due to the region’s reduced pipeline capacity and a group of 19 lawmakers begged the Biden administration on Oct. 19 to release the Northeast’s emergency diesel reserve to alleviate shortages. Diesel powers trucks as well as trains that transport goods all over the country and also fuels farming equipment.

Energy executives believe that the administration’s negative attitude towards the industry is dampening investment, according to a June survey conducted by the Dallas Federal Reserve. Biden is pushing the U.S. to phase out fossil fuels and subsidize green energy projects in order to meet his climate targets.

The DOT, DOE, and USDA did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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