President Joe Biden admitted Sunday that there was an “irony” in asking OPEC to increase oil production to lower fuel prices, while at the same time urging the world to produce and consume less oil to help mitigate climate change.
In a press conference at the G20, prior to his departure for the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, Biden had the following exchange with a Reuters reporter (via White House transcript):
Q One follow-up on energy, sir. You also met with energy consumers about supply. What steps are you considering taking if OPEC Plus does not raise supply? And do you see any irony in pushing them to increase oil production at the same time that you’re going to COP26 to urge people to lower emissions?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, on the surface, it seems like an irony, but the truth of the matter is — you’ve all known; everyone knows — that the idea we’re going to be able to move to renewable energy overnight and not have — from this moment on, not use oil or not use gas or not use hydrogen is just not rational.
Certain things we can wipe out and we don’t have to do. We should be moving immediately to get rid of — as they’ve adopted here my proposal — to end methane, to deal with a whole range of things.
But it does, on the surface, seem inconsistent, but it’s not at all inconsistent in that no one has anticipated that this year we’d be in a position — or even next year — that we’re not going to use any more oil or gas; that we’re not going to be engaged in any fossil fuels. We’re going to stop subsidizing those fossil fuels. We’re going to be making significant changes.
And it just makes the argument that we should move more rapidly to renewable energy — to wind and solar and other means of energy.
But the idea that we’re just going to end and somehow — but it does, on the surface, I admit to you. We’re going to COP to deal with renewable energy, and I’m saying, “Why are you guys cutting off oil and raising the price just to make it look harder for us?” But it’s a legitimate question.
I think, though, that if anybody thinks about it, no one ever thought that tomorrow — for example, it’s going to take us between now and 2030 to have half the vehicles in America electric vehicles. So, the idea we’re not going to need gasoline for automobiles is just not realistic. But we will get to the point that, by 2050, we have zero emissions.
The reporter did not ask about the additional irony of Biden asking OPEC for oil while pursuing policies to discourage the U.S. fossil fuel industry, such as canceling the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.