Gas prices have driven many a voter to the polls in our nation’s history, but Americans are feeling pain at the pump now more than ever as the average national gas price breached $5 for the first time in history.
President Biden is busying himself with non-solutions like a temporary gas tax break — something even former President Obama called a “gimmick” — in an attempt to show some concern for the lower- and middle-class families he claimed to fight for on the campaign trail. But a bevy of mandates handed down from his administrative state indicate his real priorities lie elsewhere. President Biden’s bizarre abuse of the Defense Production Act for inexpensive and unreliable renewable energy — and his continued injection of climate politics into financial regulations — suggest the president’s leftist agenda takes precedent over our well-being.
If only President Biden knew how simple it would be to solve $5 gas and restore economic prosperity to the nation.
Biden’s exploitation of the Defense Production Act to prop up the renewable energy industry may be his most out-of-touch move yet. With two-thirds of the nation living paycheck-to-paycheck — not to mention serious crises like the baby formula shortage still ongoing — Biden is giving special treatment to energy sources that have never yet proven to be worth the taxpayers’ hard-earned dollars. Decades of subsidies measuring in the hundreds of billions haven’t made renewable energy more reliable or affordable, despite its advocates’ bold claims. The Defense Production Act won’t either; it will just drive energy prices even higher.
The Trump administration’s pro-energy policies created real savings for families — and continued our track record of global environmental leadership — but President Biden’s war on fossil fuels has already erased that progress. The average family is now paying nearly $3,000 more on gasoline per year than under the previous administration, on top of sky-high inflation causing higher prices for other essential goods.
And it’s not just that President Biden favors wind and solar over fossil fuels. His legion of bureaucrats are actively working to destroy the American energy industry by imposing draconian financial regulations. A new proposal from the SEC will impose massive compliance costs on energy producers and force them to spend time and money on “greenwashing” instead of on harvesting and delivering the energy we need.
We need only look across the pond to the European Union to see how such a deliberate anti-energy agenda will work out for America. The EU is now dependent on Russia for 40% of its natural gas, 27 percent of its oil, and 46 percent of its coal — and electricity prices are skyrocketing. America can and should be a world superpower in energy, but President Biden’s policies have already made us energy dependent once again.
President Biden will continue to blame Russian President Vladimir Putin and oil companies, but he needs to man up and accept responsibility. He told us he was going to do this: “I guarantee you we’re going to end fossil fuel,” he said. The president knew there would be pain inflicted by forcing the American people to give up the prosperity provided by oil, gas, and coal. In the last 150 years that humanity has had access to fossil fuels, every measurement of quality of life has improved as poverty has declined, health has improved, and our environment has gotten cleaner.
It’s an injustice that President Biden is forcing poverty onto the American people to appease ruling-class elites who prioritize climate catastrophism over improving human lives. Fossil fuels and nuclear energy need to be embraced to improve the global environment, lift billions out of poverty, and promote economic prosperity in America and abroad.
Jason Isaac is director of Life:Powered, a national initiative of the Texas Public Policy Foundation to raise America’s energy IQ. Jason has appeared live on Fox Business Network and other national news shows, and his commentaries have been published in Fox Business, The Hill, The Washington Examiner, The Daily Caller, and other publications. This piece originally ran at RealClearPolitics.
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