by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
In multiple recent appearances, President Joe Biden has knowingly repeated an untruthful statement about the amount of oil being produced in the United States at this time. Over and over again, he has said either that the U.S. is producing record amounts of oil per day or that it is “approaching” record levels of production.
Both of these statements are false. Both are intended to mislead. Both are intentionally deceitful. Both are very Joe Biden.
The truth is that the U.S. was producing significantly more oil in 2019 than it is currently. The most recent production number available, 11.3 million barrels per day in February, was well below the record for the month of February (12.8 million barrels per day in 2020) and far below the monthly record (12.97 million barrels per day in November 2019). In fact, the U.S. is not even projected to return to that record level for the year 2023, according to projections from Biden’s Energy Information Administration.
Prices, as economists know, are signals. The current record-high prices for gasoline reflect increasing demand and the gradual cutoff of Russian oil from major international markets. Such high prices scream out to producers to find and refine more crude oil. Current conditions, in other words, justify much higher levels of production than at any recent time in U.S. history. This is a historic moment when all the stops ought to be pulled out and record levels of production attained.
When even Democratic members of Congress feel the need to demand disingenuously more production from oil company executives, it is clearly a sign from the heavens to ramp up production. So why does production lag? The answer lies in Biden’s White House.