The Biden inflationary spiral has left senior citizens at a loss. Of particular concern is the high cost of gasoline, said Tim Stewart, president of the U. S. Oil and Gas Association. As he put it to Rebecca Weber, CEO of the Association of Mature American Citizens, it’s “intentional.”
In an interview for AMAC’s Better For America podcast Stewart told host Weber that “we’ve been scratching our heads for two and a half years. And now I think we’ve all resolved to the fact that not only are they incompetent. This is intentional. There’s no way you can put policies in place like this by accident over and over and over again. This was intentional from day one. They’ve made it very clear that there is no room for fossil fuels on [Biden’s agenda] and that their energy policy has created energy poverty. When you create scarcity like this, you’re creating energy poverty for millions and millions of low and moderate-income families. It impacts retirees. It impacts young families. Not only have they risen to a level of incompetence, they now have risen to a level of intentional incompetence, and that’s really disturbing and should be disturbing for all of us.”
Meanwhile, Stewart said we have to contend with disrupting global events.
“In the United States, we are largely energy independent in that we produce more oil than any other country, and we’re able to export some of that.” Stewart said. “The challenge, though, is that being a global commodity, we are still subject to global prices. And so, whenever there’s a disruption, say, in Israel, in the Middle East, or in Ukraine, for example, American consumers feel the pinch of that because it is a globally priced commodity. Now, what we want is to be able to have plenty of oil and gas supply here for the United States. And the challenge that we’ve had over the last two and a half years is that the Biden administration has made things very, very difficult for domestic U. S. producers. They’ve made it very clear that they are not happy with the use of fossil fuels in the United States. And so, they have made efforts to constrain production and the use of fossil fuels. But the challenge is that, in a global commodity and a global price environment, whenever there’s a hiccup, if the supply and production are tight in the United States, American consumers feel that. So, we watch global events very, very carefully throughout the course of every single day as to what happens because the global markets respond accordingly, and the U. S. markets react to that as well.”
Stewart went on to point out that it is one of the reasons we have a Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
As he explained it, “When you and I establish our household budgets we always try and make sure that we’ve got some cash reserve on hand just in case an emergency comes up. And the Strategic Petroleum Reserve was created in the 1970s when we were subject to the Arab oil embargo. It was designed to protect American consumers and industry from massive price shocks or supply disruptions due to global events or to local events like a hurricane or refinery outages. And it was designed to be able to be refined and moved out to the consumers. That’s why the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is located so close to the major refining and pipeline infrastructures in the United States. What the Biden administration did, though, was rather than use it as an insurance policy against a global disruption in supply, they used it as political security, a strategic political reserve for use when prices were high. During the midterm election, they sold off more than half of it. We’re now down to 17 days of supply. And that’s very concerning. It’s like you and I have our household budget. We always keep some in reserve in case emergencies come up. And that’s what the SPR was. But that’s been drawn down for political reasons rather than policy or global events.”
Stewart challenged the notion that the Biden administration is truly concerned about the environment. If so, shouldn’t we be drilling and refining crude oil right here at home?
His response was succinct: “Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates made a comment about Joe Biden. He said that he’s been on the wrong side of every national security and international policy in the last 40 years. We see that reflected in his energy policy right now. It’s so interesting to see the Biden administration come after my industry when we produce oil and gas in the cleanest way possible, far cleaner than anywhere else in the world, and come after us and lean so hard on us for methane and emissions when we’ve reduced our emissions by 40 percent or 50 percent over the last few years and then turn right around and reach out to Venezuela, which without a doubt produces more dirty oil than anybody else by a multiple factor of 10. We have a challenge, but we’ve still got to invest in our refinery systems to make sure that they can refine that light crude that Texas and New Mexico are producing versus bringing it in from Venezuela. This administration, in my opinion, has been on the wrong side of every energy policy since they came into office.”