If there were ever a time for President Joe Biden’s administration to reverse course on its energy policy, now would be it.
If Russia is to be effectively sanctioned for its invasion of Ukraine, those sanctions have to hit its energy sector. That means major Russian oil and natural gas consumers would be affected, and the ripple effect could hit the United States as well in the form of energy prices.
However, when asked about energy independence on Sunday, White House press secretary Psaki told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos that increasing oil and gas production at home wouldn’t be an option for the Biden administration, implying that it would continue looking toward renewables and not carbon-based energy.
This is hardly surprising, however. From the Biden administration’s cancellation of the permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline project on its first day in the White House to its steadfast refusal to alter its energy policy now as Russia threatens to choke the West off from needed hydrocarbons, The Western Journal has stayed on top of Joe Biden’s suicidal rush to move toward renewable energy before we can. You can help us chronicle the administration’s failed push by subscribing.
Psaki was responding to a series of suggestions by GOP Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton on how to make America energy independent in the face of the Russian threat.
“How about we impose those sanctions [on energy] but we lift all those restrictions on the production of American oil and gas, so we can start drilling on federal lands again and putting out new leases, so we can reopen the Keystone Pipeline, which would bring more oil into America every day from Canada than we import every day from Russia,” Cotton said in a clip played on “This Week.”
“Is the president open to those proposals?” Stephanopoulos asked Psaki.
The answer was a very torturous way of “no.”
“Well, first, George, I think, on the energy sector, the way that the president — President Biden — has approached sanctions is we want to take every step to maximize the impact and the consequences on President Putin while minimizing the impact on the American people and the global community,” Psaki said.
“And so energy sanctions are certainly on the table. We have not taken those off. But we also want to do that and make sure we’re minimizing the impact on the global marketplace, and do it in a united way.”
“I would also note that on oil leases, what this actually justifies, in President Biden’s view, is the fact that we need to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, on oil in general, and need to — and we need to look at other ways of having energy in our country and others,” she continued.
“One of the interesting things, George, we’ve seen over the last week or so is that a number of European countries are recognizing they need to reduce their own reliance on Russian oil. So I’m not sure we agree with that assessment of what needs to happen. But energy sanctions remain on the table.”
But don’t expect them to necessarily be that severe if they come.
In his remarks announcing the first sanctions against the Russian government last week, Biden said “my administration is using the tools — every tool at our disposal to protect American families and businesses from rising prices at the gas pump,” according to a White House transcript.
He also made it clear why energy sanctions weren’t being pursued: “You know, we’re taking active steps to bring down the costs. And American oil and gas companies should not — should not exploit this moment to hike their prices to raise profits.”
Yes, the president is so nakedly concerned about inflation that Ukraine takes a back seat. He’s more interested in winning the midterm elections in November than winning against Russia.
“I know this is hard and that Americans are already hurting. I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling at the gas pump. This is critical to me,” Biden said. (He neglected to mention how critical it was to Democrat chances in 2022.)
The issue is that it’s difficult to make Russia hurt without hitting its energy sector. However, that would make the West — in particular, Europe — hurt, too.
The secret isn’t increasing oil and gas production at home to be safe. The secret — according to Psaki and Biden — is to increase green energy to the point where we can be energy independent.
It was clear when Biden canceled pipeline permits and oil and gas leases at the very start of his administration that pursuing green energy at all costs was going to be a priority for his administration.
Same thing with when he promised to cut greenhouse gases by 50 percent from 2005 levels by 2030, a thoroughly unrealistic goal, or when his administration pushed a spending bill that threw huge sums of money at electric cars and charging infrastructure.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has cemented how brittle and fragile our energy supply is. Instead of making it more flexible and robust by increasing production of the kinds of energy we know we can cheaply extract and transport, the Biden administration is still betting on expensive, fickle renewables.
Good luck with that — especially when so many components of wind turbines and solar panels are made in another country, China, that can easily choke us off if it invades an independent nation it believes is part of its territory and the West puts up stiff opposition.
Can’t think of any place like that, though. You?
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