Biden's Energy Cop-Out

Bandar Aljaloud/Saudi Royal Palace via AP

The administration’s continuous effort to put the blame for America’s energy woes on anybody but themselves is so poorly executed it’s almost admirable. President Joe Biden gave an unsatisfactory answer on oil after meeting with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Friday.

“[W]e had a good discussion on ensuring global energy security and adequate oil supplies to support global economic growth. And that will begin shortly. And I’m doing all I can to increase the supply for the United States of America, which I expect to happen,” Biden said.

According to a White House transcript, he continued:

“The Saudis share that urgency, and based on our discussions today, I expect we’ll see further steps in the coming weeks.”

When the president was asked about the “impact” of the visit in regards to oil supply, his response was just as unproductive.

“I suspect you won’t see that for another couple weeks,” he said. “And we’ll see more when we see gas stations start to lower their price consistent with what they’re paying for the oil. That’s another issue.”

Well, isn’t this comforting? Bloomberg already reported that there would be no noteworthy announcement on oil coming from the trip, even though Saudi Arabia controls one-third of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries’ (OPEC) reserves. They’re one of the many forces that play a role in how much Americans pay for gas.

Before he mentioned oil supply, Biden said that the Saudis are willing to collaborate on the switch toward “clean energy.”

“Saudi Arabia will also partner with us on a far-reaching clean energy initiative focused on green hydrogen, solar, carbon capture, nuclear, and other projects to accel- — to accelerate the world’s clean energy transition and to help the U.S. clean energy industry set global standards,” he said. Of course, there is not exactly an incentive for Saudi Arabia to prioritize alternative energy, when they can pump oil into oblivion, but the president will say anything to appease climate alarmists.

The Middle Eastern nation is on the other side of the world, but their production levels have a significant impact on the United States when it should be a much smaller factor. Instead of begging the Saudis for oil, Biden should be meeting with oil and gas producers in the homeland to discuss increasing domestic energy production. It’s clear that the meeting in person with bin Salman did not result in immediate answers, when the American free market would more likely deliver results without hesitation.

Congresswoman Stephanie Bice tweeted:

“We can produce affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy in states like Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Texas, so why is Biden currently in Saudi Arabia to beg them to produce more oil? We must get the federal government out of the way and restore American energy independence,” 

The trickle-down effect from the decisions OPEC makes to Americans penny-pinching at their local Chevron is unacceptable. While it’s true that the United States needs to develop clean energy solutions, there is an urgent need for the most powerful country in the world to be more self-reliant.

Biden cannot fist-bump his way out of the reality that American energy independence is the only way forward to assure that the next generation is able to prosper and promote a booming economy of the future. Overall, this was a rough trip for the president, as Nick Arama reported earlier Friday. He is getting flack from many U.S. reporters, with good reason, about the seemingly chummy interaction with the crown prince, because of the Saudi government’s role in the death of Washington Post reporter Jamal Khashoggi, as Bonchie wrote.

“The fist bump between President Biden and Mohammed bin Salman was worse than a handshake — it was shameful. It projected a level of intimacy and comfort that delivers to MBS the unwarranted redemption he has been desperately seeking,” WaPost’s publisher and CEO, Fred Ryan, said in a statement.

The trip certainly did not win the president any new friends on the domestic front, and he appears to have soured his relationship with his generally cordial allies in the media, at least for now. To call Biden’s trip to the Middle East a failure is an understatement.


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