Why Biden Keeps Lying About Energy
The president finally admits we need more oil refineries but lies about supply
Just moments ago, President Joe Biden admitted, for the first time, “We need more refining capacity,” in reference to the gasoline, diesel, and other energy shortages that are contributing significantly to inflation. But he then added, “This idea that [the oil and gas firms] don’t have oil to drill and to bring up is simply not true.”
In fact, as I have been reporting, Biden killed a major oil refinery expansion on May 14, just five weeks ago, and killed a one million acre oil and gas lease proposed for Alaska on May 12. Some might dismiss Biden’s refusal to open up one million acres in Alaska, but Biden has yet to hold a single onshore lease sale and delayed multiple oil and gas lease sales a second time last week.
It would be great news if Biden has actually changed his mind, and is now planning on licensing the refinery that he killed. But he didn’t promise to do that. And, either way, he should stop gas-lighting the public about what he did.
If Biden and his aides are going to keep demanding that Facebook, Twitter and other social media companies censor “misinformation,” those companies should start by censoring Biden’s claim that he has issued sufficient oil and gas licenses. He hasn’t. If he had, he wouldn’t be going to Saudi Arabia next month to beg them to produce more oil.
While Facebook and Twitter are at it, they should censor Biden for lying about why he killed the Alaska oil and gas lease. He claimed it was due to “lack of industry interest.” But that’s simply not true, as Alaska’s senior Senator pointed out.
“Citing a 'lack of industry interest' is nothing more than fantasy from an administration that shuns U.S. energy production,” responded Sen. Lisa Murkowski. "I can say with full certainty, based on conversations as recently as last night, that Alaska's industry does have interest in lease sales in Cook Inlet. To claim otherwise is simply false, not to mention stunningly short-sighted.”
Shortly before Biden spoke today, the CEO of Chevron published an open letter to the president. “We need clarity and consistency on policy matters ranging from leases and permits on federal lands,” wrote Michael K. Wirth, “to the ability to permit and build critical infrastructure, to the proper role of regulation that considers both costs and benefits.”
I have now caught Biden and his administration officials in three flagrant lies about refinery capacity, oil drilling, and investor attitudes. In his attack on oil and gas companies, Biden falsely alleged that they were restricting refinery operations when they are, in reality, at 94% of the capacity and maintenance is being delayed. And yesterday, I discovered that Biden’s Director of the National Economic Council, Brian Deese, had misrepresented a survey of oil and gas executives while speaking to Fox News.
Deese correctly noted that the survey by the Dallas Federal Reserve had found that 94% of energy executives blamed factors other than government regulations for their unwillingness to invest in expanded production. But he failed to note that, in the words of Barron’s, the business publication, "the executives laid into Biden for getting in the industry’s way."
The broader lie is that the US government, powerful banks, and major corporations, including Google, Amazon, and Facebook, have redirected investments away from oil and gas and toward renewables, including ethanol. Indeed, much of the loss of refinery capacity is because several refineries are being retrofitted to process biofuels rather than petroleum.
Rather than confront the energy crisis head on, Biden and his administration have apparently decided to a) demand censorship of their critics, b) scapegoat the only people who can end the energy crisis, and c) lie about their own role in creating the crisis. It is a transparently counterproductive strategy, one which is antagonizing the energy industry, worsening investor confidence, and alienating voters.
Biden’s is a strategy that makes him look like a child and oil and gas executives like grown-ups. Wrote Wirth, “we need an honest dialogue… We can only meet these challenges by working together.”
But if Biden’s strategy is so counterproductive, why does he keep pursuing it?