by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Democrats have spent decades warning that the United States must stop using the most efficient and affordable energy sources or it will be consumed by heat waves, fireballs and cataclysmic weather events. Every flood, every hurricane — every natural event, really — is now blamed on climate change. We have burdened our children with an irrational dread over their future. Then again, many in The Cult of Malthus won’t even have children.
So, why, if we’re on the precipice of this apocalypse, if saving the planet trumps every other concern, is President Joe Biden begging everyone to drill? On the days Democrats aren’t blaming Vladimir Putin for rising gas prices (a cost the president not long ago argued was worth paying for “freedom”), they’re blaming oil companies for profiteering. Wednesday, as the national average hit $5.014 (nearly $2 higher than last year), Biden sent letters to refining companies threatening to once again abuse his executive powers if they do not immediately alleviate high prices — a political appeal to the imaginary “greedflation.”
Biden, who promised a 100% “clean-energy economy” with “net-zero emissions” in a couple of decades, now demands energy companies, already at utilization rates above 90%, invest tens of billions more in new drilling infrastructure, when everyone knows that tomorrow, when prices recede, Democrats are going to go right back to passing laws and regulations that undercut their business. Today, Democrats demand CEOs spend more; tomorrow, they will promise to “hold oil executives accountable” and drag them in front of congressional committees where they will be scolded by economically illiterate windbags.
That future is baked into today’s price. Because Democrats’ energy policy is a schizophrenic mess, oscillating from puerile to pernicious. You can’t spend decades working to undercut production and campaign on the promise of destroying an industry and then demand it turn on a dime when it’s politically convenient.