Washington, D.C., is unlike the popular saying; “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.” What happens in Washington visits every town in the nation.
Pulling into a gas station these days has become a stress-inducing experience. How or why, in less than two years, did gas prices get so high?
For the first time in history the United States was energy independent, and actually exporting like never before. The gas and oil industry was booming!
However, this industry like every other business needs certainty to make major decisions such as buying new equipment, expanding, or hiring. Government actions either promote that certainty or destroy it.
On Jan. 27, 2021, President Joe Biden signed Executive Order 14008 to end international financing in the fossil fuel industry, pause all new oil and natural gas leases on public lands, and consider revising the royalty contracts on current leases.
This order was just the beginning of the attack on U.S. energy independence.
On March 21, 2022, James T. Devlin, president of the American Association of Professional Landmen, sent a letter to the president addressing statements Biden had made.
Excerpt from the letter: “On behalf of the over 11,500-member American Association of Professional Landmen (AAPL) and our 38 affiliated local associations across North America, I am writing to you to express our opposition to recent statements by your administration implying domestic oil and gas producers could provide more U.S. energy but for the actions of the industry. This assertion is not only inaccurate but fails to recognize energy policy decisions that have contributed to the precarious position in which we now find ourselves due to the conflict in Ukraine.”
“Although we wholeheartedly applaud the Administration’s decision to ban imports of Russian produced oil, the cumulative impact of the Administration’s other decisions, such as: canceling the Keystone XL pipeline permit; suspending or rescinding previously granted drilling leases; stalling approvals for LNG export facilities; and failing to hold a single federal onshore oil and gas lease sale since taking office, have had the chilling effect of disincentivizing decisions to make current and future investments in safe, dependable, and affordable American oil and gas supply.”
On April 4, 2022, the Biden administration proposed a change of rules at the Securities and Exchange Commission, an agency that protects investors in the stock market.
The new proposal will require all industries registered on the SEC to calculate the total carbon footprint of producing a product — for example the store that sells a loaf of bread has to calculate the carbon footprint back to the farmer who planted the wheat.
The estimated cost this new regulation will impose upon society is more than $10 billion.
The AAPL, representing 36 trade and industry associations, sent a letter to Gary Gensler, chairman of the SEC, requesting more time to address the proposed rule change.
Excerpt from the letter: “The undersigned 36 trade and industry associations respectfully request that SEC provide a substantial comment period for the climate change disclosure rule given the size, scope, complexity, and ramifications of the rule. The 39 days allotted for comment since the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register are woefully inadequate for the magnitude of this rule, which runs to 506 pages, contains 1,068 footnotes, references 194 dense academic and governmental reports, imposes a $10.235 billion cost on society, and seeks answers to 196 discrete questions. The public requires ample time to consider all the materials SEC has laid out in this rule in order to thoughtfully and thoroughly respond. Likewise, SEC has a statutory obligation to provide the public with a meaningful opportunity to comment. Thirty-nine days does not constitute a meaningful opportunity when there are so many wide-ranging economic and financial impacts from this rule.“
“Our associations represent thousands of upstream, midstream, downstream, and service companies in the oil and natural gas industry across the entire country. Our members employ millions of workers whose livelihoods are specifically targeted by a rule that suggests, “…an energy company might discuss…reducing its medium and long-range fossil fuel exploration and production.” (p. 21362) At a time of high gasoline prices when the world needs more, not less, American oil and natural gas production, this rule is uniquely ill-timed. SEC should give the public ample time to consider the full impacts of this wide-ranging rule designed to deny financing to the energy sources that meet 80% of global demand now and well into the future.”
Now, the United States is no longer energy independent, but also is depleting the nation’s emergency supply of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
On Nov. 23, 2021, the president announced 50 million barrels would be released from the reserve to address the high gas costs. The average cost then was about $3.45 per gallon.
On March 31, 2022, the president announced a one million barrel per day release from the reserve. The average cost per gallon then was about $4.
On July 26, 2022, the Department of Energy announced another release of up to 20 million barrels. The average cost then was about $4.30 per gallon.
The president told the nation he would end fossil fuels many times during his campaign. The energy industry is faced with a myriad of new regulations, lack of financing, and an administration hostile to the industry.
Unfortunately, now everyone is suffering the consequences of the decisions made in that town 700 miles from Jacksonville.
People who actually understand business and the economy are telling the White House they are making a huge mistake, but the political agenda is more important to Far Left Democrats than the well-being of U.S. citizens.