Opinion Pieces

Joe Biden is taking advantage of our gas price misery

As originally published by the Washington Examiner on July 15, 2022.

By Rep. Brian Babin

Gas prices are now nearly twice what they were two years ago. The cost of food and household items is skyrocketing, thanks to Biden-flation.

The White House keeps saying that "we are stronger economically than we have been." But we know better. Our wallets know better.

And it gets worse. Here we are, during one of the most significant energy crises we've ever faced. President Joe Biden shockingly decided to withdraw oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve and then sell it abroad. Among the recipients of our greatest and most needed natural resource is the Chinese Communist Party.

Yes, that China, the adversarial nation that has committed atrocious human rights violations, has been caught stealing our intellectual property, and is infiltrating our businesses and top academic institutions. The same country that top U.S. intelligence community officials have called "the biggest long-term threat to economic and national security" to the United States and its allies.

Biden has single-handedly depleted our Strategic Petroleum Reserve to its lowest level since 1986 — the reserve we depend on in times of national emergency. Our president is helping our enemy with our desperately needed fuel in the middle of a domestic energy crisis. This isn't just bad policy — it's insanity.

What is going on at the White House? In the interest of brevity, I won't even get into the reported connection between Hunter Biden benefiting from this sale, but it’s not something we should turn a blind eye to, either.

When asked about this issue, Biden's tone-deaf response is to say it's Putin's fault. Surely, he doesn’t actually believe this. I wonder how he would explain the 66% increase in gas prices during his first year in office — long before Russia invaded Ukraine.

Also, how is "blame Putin" an excusable defense? It actually highlights a massive strategic shortcoming of our energy policy — reliance on Putin. Unfortunately, the same person who has the authority to fix this problem is instead using it as a cover for his own policy failure. It's all political theater, and it’s costing all of us.

We put ourselves at risk when we rely on any nation (especially adversarial nations) for essential commodities. Maybe it's necessary occasionally for things we don't have enough of domestically, but as a member of Congress who represents Texas, I can tell you with certainty that is not the case with fossil fuels.

It's almost as if Biden wants to take advantage of these high gas prices to force us off our reliance on fossil fuels. Actually, that is exactly what he wants to do. Just a few months ago, when commenting on the astronomical rise in gas prices, Biden said, "An incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it's over, we'll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels."

It sounds like the White House is trying to teach us a lesson by making fossil fuels as unattractive as possible. Meanwhile, we are struggling at the pump, while China is growing stronger thanks to our oil.

This hasty rush to replace reliable fossil fuels with unreliable renewable energy will crush us economically and send prices even higher. The Biden administration is intensifying our current energy crisis — why? My guess is so that they can get people to beg for an alternative.

My plea is for an alternative in the White House. God willing, when Biden's presidency is over, we will still have a functioning oil and gas industry.