You may have seen it on social media or heard it from one of your co-workers. “Joe Biden didn’t raise gas prices, they’re also high in Europe!” Here are three reasons why it fails to hold water.
In short, he killed the Keystone XL Pipeline, stopped drilling oil at home, and directly opened the door for Russia to invade Ukraine. But just listing these off won’t be enough to convince most people.
Before we get into each in-depth, it’s important to think about how markets anticipate change. When an organization knows a change is coming, they respond as though it’s already happened. For example: let’s say Hershey’s Chocolate announced they were going to shut down their entire business in a year. Even if all their operations would stay exactly the same for that year, prices of chocolate would reflect the news. Singles after terrible first dates would be facing the crippling pangs of unsatisfied craving all over southern California. The point is: markets reflect known coming changes before they actually happen.
The Keystone XL Pipeline
The 1,200 mile Keystone XL Pipeline was proposed in 2008. Until 2017, it faced delays from permits and controversies surrounding tribal land and climate change doomsayers. The pipeline would bring 830,000 barrels of crude oil a day from Alberta to Nebraska. Donald Trump revived the pipeline and gave builders the go ahead in 2017. Soon after taking office, Joe Biden revoke a permit, halted progress, and definitively killed the project in 2021. In so doing, he eliminated the jobs of 1,500 workers who were currently on the project and lowered world confidence in American oil production.
- Rebuttal #1: “The pipeline wasn’t done yet“
This one simply comes back to market anticipation. One of the reasons gas prices were so low in 2017 was that the market anticipated the eventual surplus from the Keystone Pipeline. Market confidence leads investments, expansion of business, and consumer confidence. Joe Biden’s actions significantly undermined consumer confidence and directly raised prices.
- Rebuttal #2: “That’s not even the gas you put in your car”
This argument is technically correct. The crude oil that goes from Alberta to the pipeline itself isn’t refined yet. Here’s a resource on how oil refineries work. After crude oil is refined, it can become the gasoline that fuels your car.
- Rebuttal #3: “The pipeline would have led to more climate change“
Regardless of where you stand on this issue, the pipeline would have allowed for a greater output of gasoline for the US and its business partners. Global warming and climate change are irrelevant to the issue of whether or not Joe Biden increased gas prices. Be ready to call out red herrings when you see them.
Also, this is a great argument:
The “sand oil” arrives now via rail. 2 trains per day. 90-100 cars each. Each car holds 650 barrel. Do the math.
Keystone would have imported 850,000 barrels a day.
Oh- each train burns 72,000 gallons of diesel. Keystone burns none.
Feel stupid yet? It gets better.
— Daniel Turner (@DanielTurnerPTF) June 1, 2022
Drilling On US Soil
In September of 2018, the Energy Information Administration announced that US crude oil production exceeded that of Saudi Arabia for the first time in more than two decades. We became the largest producer of crude oil on earth. Under Donald Trump, the United States became a net exporter for the first time in decades. One of Biden’s first actions in office was to suspend oil and gas leases in the name of “climate change.” Then, he continued to put barrier after barrier in their way. When we aren’t producing oil like we were, that doesn’t only raise prices for us, it raises them for everyone we do business with. Yes, that includes Europe. We saw this play out in March when the UAE announced a massive increase in oil production and prices dropped worldwide overnight.
- Rebuttal #1: “Biden approved more oil and gas leases than Donald Trump“
This argument is actually true. In raw numbers, Biden approved more leases than Trump, and by a large margin. But many of those leases are going unused and companies are leaving perfectly good oil in the ground. Why? Because he has heavily disincentivized drilling. An array of Biden policies have made it more expensive for companies to drill and capped their profit margins. Examples include eliminating tax benefits, increasing the “social cost of carbon emissions” sevenfold, and proposing fees and taxes on “non-green” energy. While he may have approved more leases initially, EnergyWire found that proposed new leases tanked in May and June of 2021 and remain low today.
So he may have approved more leases, but most remain unused and he has made each one of those companies’ efforts significantly harder.
- Rebuttal #2: “These oil companies are just price gouging“
In reality, their profit margins have dropped significantly. When the entire company makes less, they have to make up for it somehow. The way Patrick De Haan with GasBuddy says it: “Oil companies are price takers, they’re not price setters.”
- Rebuttal #3: “Biden didn’t end Trump’s ‘energy independence,’ we’ve bought oil from foreign powers for years.”
Under Trump, we may have been importing oil but we were a net exporter for the first time in 75 years. We may have imported oil, but we were not reliant on those imports.
This is the elephant in the room in so many ways. The US boycott of Russia has had the largest impact on global gas prices. Very few people will deny this. Ultimately, Joe Biden’s actions are directly responsible for the war in Ukraine, allow me to explain. Vladimir Putin has had imperialist ambitions to conquer Ukraine for decades. In May of 2021, Joe Biden waved sanctions on Russia’s Nord Stream II Pipeline (even though he shut down our own.) This meant that Russia could obtain its oil without playing nice with Ukraine. Then, at a press conference on January 19th, 2022, Joe Biden implied that if Russia only led a “minor incursion” his response would be minimal. Combine this with his complete disregard as the Taliban took over Afghanistan and made off with over $7,000,000,000 ($7 billion) of US assets. He welcomed Russia to invade Ukraine. Both the invasion and the boycotts that followed rest squarely on Joseph Biden’s shoulders.
If there are any rebuttals to this, comment them below and we would be happy to add and respond to them.
With these three points, you can sufficiently respond to anyone who claims that the Joe Biden had nothing to do with rising gas prices. Let’s work together to ensure that smug liberals at least have a chance to know what they’re talking about.