(The opinions expressed in guest op-eds are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the views of RedState.com.)
The Biden administration’s policies restricting oil and gas production have cost the U.S economy $100 billion annually, according to a new study
The study, written by economists at the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, found that had President Joe Biden not restricted domestic oil and gas production, Americans would have spent $100 billion dollars less on energy and goods dependent on energy. Given current market conditions—high demand and high prices for oil and gas—the study estimates the United States, would have produced far more from domestic fields than the industry did, absent Biden’s policies. Because practically everything in our economy depends on oil and gas, everyone suffers from Biden’s (or, more likely, his climate-goon handlers’) hostility towards domestic oil and gas.
And I do emphasize “domestic,” because Biden and friends seem perfectly happy to support increased production and drilling in other countries with authoritarian regimes, as evidenced by his groveling approach to Saudi Arabia and Venezuela.
Sadly, it’s all too common for so-called environmentalists to oppose domestic production of oil and natural gas; mining for coal or uranium, and other critical minerals; and logging, while supporting, or at least not condemning it with the same absolutist fervor, when it takes place in other countries, despite the fact that human rights are largely not respected in these nations and the technologies they use produces more pollution and waste, like in the Congo and China.
However, while “not in my backyard” makes a sort of twisted sense when it comes to the relatively local damage caused by unregulated mining practices, we all live under the same atmosphere, right? If the administration is so worried about climate change caused by emissions from oil production both upstream, in the form of leakage during operations, and downstream, in the form of burning the fuel, why is it okay for Saudi Arabia and Venezuela to drill and produce more oil—but not us?
The study says it all. Just the News gave nice coverage to it in an article written by Aaron Kleigman, titled “Biden’s energy policies costing U.S. economy $100 billion a year: study.”
Citing an analysis by economists Stephen Moore and Casey Mulligan, Kleigman writes:
“The U.S. would be producing between 2 and 3 million more barrels of oil a day and between 20 and 25 more billion cubic feet of natural gas under the Trump policies,” states the report, which was published by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity. “This translates into an economic loss — or tax on the American economy — of roughly $100 billion a year.
The figures are based on production numbers adjusted for the energy price spikes that have occurred since President Biden entered office in 2021.
“Both the domestic and international evidence show that when we adjust for the higher international price for oil and gas, the U.S. is drilling not record amounts of oil and gas, but far below what market conditions would dictate,” Moore and Mulligan argue. “It takes a higher oil price to motivate the same supply during the Biden administration.
This report comes, as Kleigman notes, as “the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its non-member allies, a coalition known as OPEC+ led by Russia and Saudi Arabia, announced Wednesday they’re going to slash oil production by 2 million barrels a day,” and just after President Biden announced he would drain the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) by 1 million barrels per day for the next six months to try to lower prices. The OPEC and OPEC+ move must be an appalling slap in the face, as it cancels out Biden’s sales from the SPR, and then some, resulting in climbing oil prices climbing once again—just in time for the mid-term elections.
While less-regulated Saudi Arabia has some of the lowest oil production costs in the world, the Kingdom is dependent on oil sales for funding the government. Estimates suggest that it requires $83 USD per barrel to stay balanced. There is, therefore, great incentive by one of America’s greatest oil-producing competitors to keep prices high.
Biden’s policies, as partially detailed in this report from The Heartland Institute, written in the comparatively halcyon days of February 2022, cut American energy production off at the knees, such as placing moratoriums on new leases on federal land, the reclassification of residual water as toxic waste, and announcing new drilling restrictions in various regions. These actions, and others, imposed by the Biden administration handed control of oil prices back to OPEC and OPEC+. Biden’s weakness in diplomacy and energy policy has also given BRICS countries (now possibly including Saudi Arabia) greater control over the global oil market. If these countries, Saudi Arabia especially, decide to trade among themselves with their own currencies instead of dollars, it would mean the end of the petrodollar, significantly undermining the West’s current financial structure.
All of this after President Trump made the United States energy independent.
The path to net-zero carbon dioxide emissions, and the Biden administration’s obsession with it, is actively harming American families, as well as our allies in Europe. All of this is done in the name of stopping a modest temperature increase that has not yielded any catastrophic impact on humanity, and in fact, may deliver a net benefit.
Linnea Lueken ([email protected]) is a Research Fellow with the Arthur B. Robinson Center on Climate and Environmental Policy.