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Your shoddy shortcut isn't enough, Mr. President

Your shoddy shortcut isn't enough, Mr. President


A marquee displays gas prices at a Shell station on Monday, Nov. 22, 2021, in San Francisco. On Tuesday, President Joe Biden ordered 50 million barrels of oil released from America's strategic reserve to help bring down energy costs. But The Heritage Foundation says the U.S. needs a course correction, not a "shoddy solution." (AP Photo/Noah Berger)

Your shoddy shortcut isn't enough, Mr. President

President Joe Biden has announced the U.S. will tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to pump more supply into the market and help bring down prices. But the president is missing the point, says The Heritage Foundation.

"When the president sees that Americans are upset with energy prices, he's taken to blame-shifting and looking for shortcuts that I don't think get to root causes here," says Katie Tubb, senior policy analyst for energy and environment at The Heritage Foundation.

"The administration has basically from day one put a target on the back of oil companies in the United States," she continues. "And now he's wondering why energy prices are increasing? I think he needs to start back from day one and undo a lot of the harm … and uncertainty he's caused in the industry by pushing regulations and policies that will increase energy prices."

Tubb, Katie (Heritage Foundation) Tubb

Tubb believe the president's "Build Back Better" bill is a great place to start. "It has in it fees and regulations that will increase oil prices in addition to cutting off more supply in the United States," she explains.

Biden acknowledged on Tuesday that his plan to tap into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve won't solve the problem of high gas prices overnight, but it will make a difference. "It will take time," he stated, "but before long, you should see the price of gas drop where you fill up your tank."

The president went on to say that India, Japan, the Republic of Korea, and the United Kingdom have agreed to release additional oil from their reserves. "China may do more as well," he added.

Biden also addressed what he calls a "myth" about inflated gas prices. "They're not due to environmental measures," he told reporters on Tuesday. "My effort to combat climate change is not raising the price of gas."

That, says Tubb, is deceptive. "I think we just have to look at California," she tells AFN. "California, by no one's estimation, is lukewarm on climate policy – and yet they have some of the highest gasoline prices in the United States … and a lot of that has to do with their climate policy."

"Environmental policies do show up in energy markets," Tubb concludes. "So, I think the president's remarks are misleading."

On Tuesday, AAA had the average for a gallon of regular in California at $4.70, up from $4.54 last month and $3.17 one year ago.

Related commentary by Katie Tubb:
Biden's strategic petroleum reserve sale is shoddy shortcut, not needed course correction