Flashback: Candidate Joe Biden Promised to Wage War on American Oil Industry 

Win McNamee/Getty Images
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Then-candidate Joe Biden promised in 2020 to wage a war on the American oil industry by terminating subsidies and drilling feasibility.

“No more subsidies for the fossil fuel industry,” Biden stated on stage during a Democrat primary debate.

“No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill, period,” Biden said of his energy policies if he’d win the presidency. “It ends.”

Biden has made good on his campaign promise to reduce oil drilling. Into Biden’s second year in office, his administration has driven up private and public financing costs of oil drilling, halted drilling on public lands, and canceled the Keystone pipeline.

Gas prices reflect his policies. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA),  Americans will pay $450 more for gas in 2022 than they did last year on an inflation-adjusted basis.

“Motorists in the US are now spending nearly three quarters of a billion dollars more on gasoline every day than a year ago,” GasBuddy estimated.

Defenders of Biden’s energy policies claim Biden was just referring to federal lands.

“Taken literally, the former vice president’s debate comments could be read to mean that he would end oil drilling. Or it could mean that he would not allow any new drilling, which is how the Biden campaign described the candidate’s position,” Democrat-allied PolitiFact stated.

On Wednesday, Biden sent a letter to Marathon Petroleum Corp., Valero Energy Corp., ExxonMobil, Phillips 66, Chevron, BP, and Shell, blaming them for the cost of gas. He also requested they produce more oil.

“In advance of that, I request that you provide the Secretary with an explanation of any reduction in your refining capacity since 2020 and any concrete ideas that would address the immediate inventory, price, and refining capacity issues in the coming months — including transportation measures to get refined product to market,” the letter read.

“Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis and respect the critical equities of energy workers and fence-line communities,” Biden wrote. “I have directed the Secretary of Energy to convene an emergency meeting on this topic and engage the National Petroleum Council in the coming days.

Biden’s reversal comes as polling shows 74 percent of respondents said Biden’s soaring gas prices are an “extremely/very important” factor in how they will vote in the midterm elections. Biden’s approval for his management of gas prices is only 27 percent.

Additional polling indicates 53 percent of voters believe Biden is trying to raise the price of gas to force citizens to use less fossil fuel, according to polling by Convention of States Action/Trafalgar Group.

Trump warned voters that if Biden won the 2020 election, the price of gas would reach at least $7.00 per gallon. “If Biden got in, you’d be paying $7, $8, $9. Then they’d say ‘get rid of your car!’”

Gas prices have averaged above $5 per gallon for six days.

JPMorgan commodities analyst predicted gas prices may increase to more than $6.00 per gallon before Labor Day.

Follow Wendell Husebø on Twitter and Gettr @WendellHusebø. He is the author of Politics of Slave Morality.


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