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Democrats cry crocodile tears over high gas prices

Washington Examiner logo Washington Examiner 4/7/2022 Washington Examiner
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Democrats are so nervous about November's election that they just wasted a morning in the House Energy and Commerce Committee trying to scapegoat the oil industry for the high price of gasoline.

“Big Oil is lining their pockets with one hand and taking billions in taxpayer subsidies with the other,” said Rep. Frank Pallone, a New Jersey Democrat, in one typical statement. “Meanwhile, the American people are getting ripped off as these companies choose to keep production low so that their own profits stay high.”

It is difficult even to know where to begin with such nonsense. But before going into the granular details about the false and misleading Democratic assertions on this issue, ask yourself one simple question: Do oil companies make their money by not selling as much oil as possible when global prices are really high? Or do they make money by selling as much oil as possible when prices are really high?

Congressional Democrats seem clueless about how markets work. Oil companies, refiners, and retailers could not keep gas prices this high even if they wanted to.

More galling, however, is that the Democrats trying to point the finger of blame for high prices at private enterprise are pretending that they dislike high prices when, in truth, they have long pursued higher gasoline prices as a policy goal. The only reason they are upset about it now is that it is likely to contribute to their defeat in the midterm elections.

In the service of reducing carbon emissions, Democrats have long openly worked to raise the price of fossil fuel energy. They have done so by proposing carbon taxes, cap-and-trade schemes, higher leasing fees, and other measures to jack up costs so people burn less of it. This is why Barack Obama said, in answer to a related question about electricity, that his energy plan would make prices "necessarily skyrocket." This is why Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna praised BP's CEO less than six months ago for pledging to reduce oil and gas production by 40% by 2030. Reductions in oil production and rising gasoline prices are part of the Democrats' agenda and the Paris climate agenda.

There's even more to it than that. Over the past decade, the Democrats' overt hostility toward fossil fuels has even driven companies in the industry to sideline production, purely for public relations purposes, while prioritizing meaningless, politically correct carbon emissions goals. How can Democrats suddenly feign outrage at their incredible success in influencing the industry?

The reason Democrats float conspiracy theories about price-fixing and price-gouging is that voters see their party as the main problem. President Joe Biden's administration has been working since day one to bully banks out of funding fossil fuel projects. Upon taking office, his first act was to cancel the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada — which is kind of funny in retrospect, since the war now has him desperately trying to find more ways to bring oil down from Canada. To appease pipeline opponents, Biden prefers to transport oil by rail, using dangerous, carbon-spewing diesel trains.

He would also rather beg for more oil from OPEC countries and from Venezuela's dictator, Nicolas Maduro, than sell oil leases and issue permits so American companies can drill on federal lands. The companies lack them because the administration is slow-walking the process to placate radical environmentalists.

Democrats staged Wednesday's hearing because they could no longer rely on the previous excuse they tried — that Russian President Vladimir Putin caused the price hikes with his invasion of Ukraine. That line of argument was swiftly revealed as untenable because people remembered that they had complained about the price of gasoline under Biden long before the invasion. The Democrats' new effort to shed crocodile tears over high gasoline prices is no more convincing.


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Tags: Editorials, Opinion, Democratic Party, Gas Prices, House of Representatives, Fossil Fuels, Keystone XL, Foreign Policy, Oil, Congress

Original Author: Washington Examiner

Original Location: Democrats cry crocodile tears over high gas prices


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