Not Even a CNN Anchor Could Let This One Slide: Challenges Biden's Energy Secretary on Faulty Plan for Gasoline Shortage


President Joe Biden’s administration, now dealing with the multifarious adverse effects of $5-a-gallon gas on its approval ratings, wants energy companies to make a massive investment to increase the nation’s oil supply. And then, after the crisis passes, they want to pursue policies that would shutter the petroleum industry for good.

Make sense to you? It didn’t to an anchor on CNN, who pressed the administration’s energy secretary over the administration’s paradoxical plan to lower gas prices while pursuing the end of the fossil-fuel era.

(Here at The Western Journal, we’ve noted this paradox before — and how the Biden administration’s dogged determination to pursue a dead-end set of energy policies that amount to a Green New Deal-lite has led to America’s problems at the pump. We’ll keep bringing readers the truth. You can help us by subscribing.)

On Wednesday, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm attempted to assure America that a) the president was doing everything he could to lower energy prices and b) he had no control over energy prices.

That’s a paradox in and of itself, but the reason for it is — you may have heard this from the administration before — the greed of the perfidious oil companies.

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Biden, Granholm said, “wants to hear from these refining entities about why was it, for example, when oil was $120 a barrel in March, and we paid about $4.25 a gallon, but today, when oil is the same price on a global market, we’re paying over $5 a gallon?”

“We know that, as you noted earlier in the show, that capacity has come offline, refining capacity. But even between March and today, we are seeing these massive profit — this massive profit-taking on the part of refiners,” she continued, according to a CNN transcript.

“And so the president is calling both upon production of oil to increase in the United States and around the world, and he’s calling upon refinery capacity to increase. And he’s calling them to a meeting to say, what can we do to help make that happen?”

This again makes the mistake of conflating the prices of unrefined oil sold on the global market with gasoline delivered to your local station, but why let facts get in the way?

Is Joe Biden responsible for high gas prices?

There were other reasons for high oil prices, all of which Granholm avouched couldn’t have been predicted by the Biden administration: summer driving season (first time that’s ever happened) and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine (there’s that “Putin tax” again!), among other factors.

But above all, Biden is “also asking, of course, for the oil and gas industry to increase supply as well by drilling more.”

“They are about 100 rigs shy of what they were before COVID. They need to increase supply,” Granholm said.

Even CNN’s John Berman saw — and was willing to point out — the fallacy here.

“Five years from now, ten years from now, are you telling me you want them drilling for more oil, you want the refineries putting out more gasoline in five or ten years?” Berman asked.

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No, of course not; the administration just wants them to spend money now that they’ll lose later on, all to get the president’s approval rating out of the dumpster.

“What we’re saying is today we need that supply increased,” Granholm said. “Of course, in five or ten years — actually, in the immediate, we are also pressing on the accelerator, if you will, to move toward clean energy so that we don’t have to be under the thumb of petrodictators like Putin or at the whim of the volatility of fossil fuels.

“Ultimately, America will be most secure when we can rely upon our own clean, domestic production of energy through solar, through wind, through–” Granholm continued, before Berman interrupted her.

“But that’s the problem for these companies. These companies are saying, you know, you’re asking me to do more now, invest more now, when, in fact, five or ten years from now we don’t think that demand will there be. And the administration doesn’t even necessarily want it to be there.”

Yes, but: “John — John, I mean we’re — we really want to see us move to clean energy, but we also need to see this increase right now,” Granholm replied. “And we are asking the oil and gas companies as well to diversify and make sure that part of — that they become diversified energy companies, to be able to produce other means of clean energy because they have huge, deep pockets, they have a big ability to invest in the future, as well as investing right now so that we don’t see oil and gas causing the inflation numbers and people being hurt every day.”

Diversify later as a private, profit-making enterprise, Granholm seems to be saying, but spend money now to get America out of a problem of Joe Biden’s own making. With their own money, of course, because they have too much of it.

These problems are entirely of the Biden administration’s making, however. From day one of his presidency, Biden has emphasized the elimination of fossil fuels — quite literally day one, since that’s when he euthanized the Keystone XL pipeline.

However, if the government is charting a course to curtail oil usage to the point of its virtual elimination, there’s no reason to either construct or maintain oil infrastructure. And so, energy companies didn’t.

Then came the massive inflation numbers and the “I did that!” stickers on gas pumps, all with Biden’s smiling, senescent mug on them. Suddenly, the administration’s clean-energy grift didn’t seem like such a good idea, especially with the midterms approaching.

So, the discussion shifted from the evil energy companies choking and warming our planet to the greedy energy companies, with their “huge, deep pockets,” who refuse to increase production of a commodity the administration was trying to eliminate not too long ago.

When even a CNN anchor notices the contradictions inherent in that, the Biden administration should realize the jig is up. It’s time for the president to start taking responsibility for his own errors in policy instead of blaming the free market for them.

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C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014.
C. Douglas Golden is a writer who splits his time between the United States and Southeast Asia. Specializing in political commentary and world affairs, he's written for Conservative Tribune and The Western Journal since 2014. Aside from politics, he enjoys spending time with his wife, literature (especially British comic novels and modern Japanese lit), indie rock, coffee, Formula One and football (of both American and world varieties).
Morristown, New Jersey
Catholic University of America
Languages Spoken
English, Spanish
Topics of Expertise
American Politics, World Politics, Culture