“President Joe Biden’s closing argument before the midterm elections presents contradictory promises of driving down carbon emissions while increasing the supply of fossil fuels.”
“Biden hasn’t been invited to spread the message of his climate victory in swing states, even though people are already voting early or by mail.”
– E&E News (October 24, 2022)
From time to time MasterResource amplifies E&E News articles that call a spade a spade. A bit of realism in a sea of hyperbole about all things climate and energy is worth commemorating.
Scott Waldman’s “Biden Struggles to Sell Climate Win in Final Midterm Stretch” (October 24, 2022) exposes the contradictory themes of lowering oil prices and addressing climate concerns. The article shows a picture of Joe Biden (teleprompter hidden) speaking at the East Portland Community Center in Portland, Oregon, surely friendly ground.
“Climate action is coming, and so are cheaper gasoline prices,” the article begins. “President Joe Biden’s closing argument before the midterm elections presents contradictory promises of driving down carbon emissions while increasing the supply of fossil fuels.”
It’s aimed at appeasing different types of voters whose support is vital to Democrats in a convulsing campaign season that could end 15 days from now by disrobing the party of its power in Congress. The clashing messages are directed both at climate activists and a broader public that’s startled by the rate of inflation, which is felt acutely at the gas pump. It comes just two months after Democrats passed the most ambitious climate policy in history, the Inflation Reduction Act, which includes $369 billion in climate and energy spending.
Good, fair reporting on crazy politics that has the Progressive Left squirming. Pump prices have always done that, from Al Gore in 2000 to Barack Obama in 2012 to Biden today (see Appendix below for quotations).
Last week, Biden argued that his plan to boost oil and gas production was “totally consistent” with his climate policy. That assertion came as he announced the release of 15 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a move he has made repeatedly (Climatewire, Oct. 20).
The Progressive Left is going bonkers again. Withdrawing SPR oil increases consumption (reduces conservation), and refilling the reserve means more production incentive later on. But it’s election time, right?
Biden vs. Trump on the Campaign Trail
Waldman notes the contrast with election voting underway.
“We can strengthen our energy security now, and we can build a clean energy economy for the future at the same time,” [Biden] said. “It’s totally within our capacity.” Those claims come amid a start-and-stop campaign season for Biden, whose low approval rating of 43 percent has muted his ability to rally support for Democratic candidates. Much of the party’s campaigning in the final days before the election will be done by a group of surrogates including former President Barack Obama, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders (I)….
By contrast, former President Donald Trump has held multiple rallies in swing states where he connected Biden’s climate policies to high gas prices, even though Russia’s war on Ukraine is largely to blame.
“Under Democrat rule, the price of gas in Nevada is up 100 percent,” Trump said during a rally in the state earlier this month. “Two years ago, everything was so good in our country, and now, it’s going to pieces. It’s falling apart. You now have gasoline, $5 today, $5.54 a gallon.”
Polls show Biden is the climate president, but Waldman notes:
Biden hasn’t been invited to spread the message of his climate victory in swing states, even though people are already voting early or by mail…. In Pennsylvania, Biden made a rare appearance with a swing state Senate candidate but didn’t use the opportunity to make much of a climate argument.
Enough. Fact is that wind, solar, and EVs are inferior energies for their government-assigned uses, and consumers and taxpayers have to hurt themselves to go along.
It’s a tough sell, one that Biden et al. are able to get away with through deficit federal spending, as if it were free. But inflation and higher energy prices have resulted. Alas, reality bats last.
Appendix: Three Presidential Quotations
“I have made it clear in this campaign that I am not calling for any tax increase on gasoline, on oil, on natural gas, or anything else. I am calling for tax cuts to stimulate the production of new sources of domestic energy and new technologies to improve efficiency.”
– Al Gore (2000)
“As long as I’m President, we’re going to keep on encouraging oil development and infrastructure, and we’re going to do it in a way that protects the health and safety of the American people. We don’t have to choose between one or the other, we can do both.”
– Barack Obama (2012)
“… we need to responsibly increase American oil production …. My administration has not stopped or slowed U.S. oil production; quite the opposite. We’re producing 12 million barrels of oil per day. And by the end of this year, we will be producing 1 million barrels a day, more than the day in which I took office. In fact, we’re on track for record oil production in 2023.”
– Joe Biden (2022)