Engaged On Energy


Welcome to this week’s Engaged on Energy. I’m Rick Whitbeck, and tonight, let’s talk about the politics of last week’s decision by the President to tap our nation’s strategic petroleum reserves.


The White House’s announcement on the release of 50 million barrels of oil from the reserves was comical at one point. The line that got me? “President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply.”


Every tool available? I guess if you call asking OPEC to increase its supplies, while your Energy Secretary makes excuses why we can’t somehow force OPEC to comply with that absurd request a tool, the press release is spot-on.


If you call shutting down the Keystone Pipeline on day one of the Biden presidency and laying off eleven thousand workers in the process a tool, then the press release couldn’t be more factual.


If you consider new regulations that will make it tougher for domestic oil and gas development to happen, kowtowing to the eco-left to scrap lease sales and place existing projects on hold for so-called permitting deficiencies the proper use of available tools, well, then, that press release is 100% factual.


But let’s not kid ourselves. We wouldn’t be in this predicament if President Biden and his leadership team hadn’t bungled nearly every facet of our nation’s worldwide energy position since taking office. History says this action won’t help much.


The last time the reserves were tapped was the year 2000. After oil prices surged to – get this – $37 a barrel, President Clinton released 30 million barrels from the Reserve. While prices dropped below $30 within a week, they rebounded to $36 a barrel just two weeks later. Not a lot of help back in 2000.


Here’s a novel idea, Mr. President: allow our nation’s energy workers the opportunity to produce more domestic oil and gas, instead of threatening their jobs at every turn? That should be the first tool used.


That’ll do it for this week. Be sure to contact me at rick@powerthefuture.com with comments or suggestions for a future segment. Thanks for tuning in, and have an energy-filled week, everyone