Why Is Biden Threatening an American Pipeline While Begging Russia, OPEC for Oil and Gas?

November 12, 2021 Updated: November 14, 2021

Commentary

Fresh after publicly begging Russia and the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to produce more oil and natural gas in order to ease a global supply crunch and skyrocketing energy prices, the Biden administration is nonsensically considering shutting down an American pipeline that’s crucial to our energy security.

The question is why?

For more than 40 years, the United States was held hostage to the whims of OPEC and other foreign energy producers who were hostile to our national interests. For more than four decades, politicians on both sides of the aisle lamented our foreign oil dependency and dreamed of a day when the country would become energy independent.

Because of U.S. innovation revolutionizing horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing, the United States became the world’s leading oil producer during the Trump administration, producing more oil and natural gas than the country used. America had additionally benefited from a helping hand from Canadian oil imports, further marginalizing the impact of Russia and OPEC on U.S. energy security.

After the Biden administration halted construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, imposed an unlawful halt to new oil and gas projects on federal lands, and stifled U.S. oil and gas production through a variety of other means, U.S. energy production has plateaued despite increasing demand. As a result—and predictably—oil, natural gas, and gasoline prices have skyrocketed.

Home heating oil prices are up by more than 30 percent since Joe Biden entered the Oval Office. Crude oil prices have risen by more than 50 percent. Natural gas prices have doubled. Gasoline prices are up by about $1 per gallon. None of this was necessary. To the extent that rising energy prices are taking a heavy toll on American consumers’ pocketbooks, the answer is simple: Stop stifling U.S. energy production.

The Biden administration claims that curbing American oil and natural gas production is justified and necessary because of its climate change agenda. However, even Democratic political strategist Mark Penn conceded on Nov. 8 that the American people value energy independence over additional measures to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Biden administration Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm laughed uncontrollably when asked about rising gasoline prices and whether the administration will increase domestic energy production to counteract increasing prices at the pump. Granholm also acknowledges that Americans will have to pay significantly higher prices to heat their homes this winter. Now, adding injury to insult, the Biden administration has acknowledged that it’s considering halting the Line 5 pipeline, which has delivered oil and natural gas across Michigan and Wisconsin for more than 60 years. Closing the pipeline would drive U.S. energy prices significantly higher.

In what alternate universe does shutting down production of U.S. and Canadian oil and natural gas drive down carbon dioxide emissions, when the result is that we have to beg Russia and OPEC to ship oil and natural gas overseas—emitting additional and unnecessary carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in the process? Moreover, how does it benefit the environment to encourage Russia and OPEC—with inferior environmental protection laws than the United States—to produce and ship more oil and natural gas while suppressing U.S. energy production? How does deliberately shifting oil and natural gas production to Russia and OPEC from the United States benefit the U.S. economy or U.S. national security?

The Biden administration’s energy and environmental policies are being exposed as nothing other than political greenstanding. Shutting down U.S. energy production appeases the radical climate lobby that wields significant power over the administration. However, it does nothing to benefit the environment, as it simultaneously puts the United States and its economy at the mercy of hostile foreign powers.

The Biden administration needs to put an end to any and all discussion of shutting down the Line 5 pipeline. It also needs to put an end to its Russia-and-OPEC-first energy policy. Failure to do so will impose additional woe on U.S. consumers, while doing absolutely nothing to reduce carbon dioxide emissions or benefit the environment.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

James Taylor
James Taylor is president of The Heartland Institute.