The White House has been speaking with U.S. oil and gas producers in recent days about helping to bring down rising fuel costs, according to two sources familiar with the matter.
Energy costs are rising worldwide, in some cases leading to shortages in major economies like China and India. In the United States, the average retail cost of a gallon of gas is at a seven-year high, and winter fuel costs are expected to surge, according to the U.S. Energy Department. Oil-and-gas production remains below the nation’s peak reached in 2019.
Go figure that cutting off access to exploration and extraction, as well as promising to put an end to fossil fuels entirely, created cost hikes. In fact, as the Energy Information Agency reported yesterday, gasoline prices shot up a whopping 42% year-on-year in September, which has contributed to the sharp overall spike in inflation this year. The increase in fuel prices have created a stagflation trap for Biden, as Barclay’s warned on the data yesterday, that threatens to hammer the working classes much more than the wealthy as buying power erodes.
But the threat to lower-income households might be even more existential than that. Later yesterday, the Associated Press warned that heating fuel might go up as high as 54% year-on-year this winter, in which case Biden had better pray for some global warming:
With prices surging worldwide for heating oil, natural gas and other fuels, the U.S. government said Wednesday it expects households to see their heating bills jump as much as 54% compared to last winter.
Nearly half the homes in the U.S. use natural gas for heat, and they could pay an average $746 this winter, 30% more than a year ago. Those in the Midwest could get particularly pinched, with bills up an estimated 49%, and this could be the most expensive winter for natural-gas heated homes since 2008-2009.
The second-most used heating source for homes is electricity, making up 41% of the country, and those households could see a more modest 6% increase to $1,268. Homes using heating oil, which make up 4% of the country, could see a 43% increase — more than $500 — to $1,734. The sharpest increases are likely for homes that use propane, which account for 5% of U.S. households.
This winter is forecast to be slightly colder across the country than last year. That means people will likely be burning more fuel to keep warm, on top of paying more for each bit of it. If the winter ends up being even colder than forecast, heating bills could be higher than estimated, and vice-versa.
This risks more than just some lost buying power. People who can’t afford heating oil tend to die in cold winters. States and fuel companies (oil, electric, and gas) have baseline delivery options even for people who can’t afford to pay, but a massive jump in fuel prices will rapidly deplete those resources.
All of this originates with Biden’s EOs targeting the demonized fossil-fuel industry, which shook up the futures markets and had investors preparing for shortage situations. Moreover, driving prices up was by design in Biden’s plans. The higher the cost of fossil fuels, the less use they get, and that suits Biden and his global-warming goals just fine. Biden and his fellow progressives want fuel prices to go through the roof as a sort of back-door entrée to electric vehicles and big restrictions on petroleum, natural gas, and coal production.
Now that high prices have begun to threaten Biden’s political standing, not to mention the economy, suddenly he wants to run to the fossil-fuel industry for a rescue. The correct way to fix this problem, however, is to reverse all of Biden’s fossil-fuel policies and encourage more domestic production as a means to drive prices down. Not only will that help combat inflation, it also provides the US with lots of advantages in foreign policy and national security by impoverishing Iran and Russia.
Biden won’t be able to do that, however, because the progressives to whom he’s married won’t stand for it. Biden’s looking for a handout from the industry he’s spent the last several years painting as the devil itself. If they’re smart, they can tell Biden to go to the devil if he’s not willing to recast energy policy more rationally.