Is President Biden Responsible For The Rise In Gas Prices?

Does President Biden deserve the blame for the unprecedentedly high gas prices that the nation is currently experiencing? Whether or not he deserves the entire blame is debatable. However, at the very least, we can say that the President has contributed to the dramatic rise in energy prices.

Let’s start with the facts. The United States uses approximately 20 million barrels of oil per day. 99% of the cars on American roads run on the gasoline produced from that oil. The fossil fuel industry also supplies the energy to most Americans’ homes and produces the fertilizer that grows our food.

How the President’s Policies Impacted Oil Production
However, the President has been at war with the fossil fuel industry since his first day in office. While campaigning, the President promised, “we are going to get rid of fossil fuels.” Then, upon his inauguration, President Biden halted the issuance of new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters and canceled the Keystone pipeline, which could have delivered up to 830,000 barrels of oil per day.

Next, the Biden administration blocked oil drilling leases approved in Alaska and implemented a litany of regulations on fossil fuel producers that increase costs. Biden’s actions have impacted the United States’ energy production and caused gas prices to rise.

The Russian Invasion of Ukraine
Of course, other factors outside Biden’s control have contributed to rising oil prices, such as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, Biden’s decision to sanction Russia and ban its oil imports has further exacerbated the problem for Americans at the pump. In addition, due to his strained relationship with Saudi Arabia, Biden has been unable to persuade the world’s second-largest oil producer to increase its output.

So what can the President do now? Here are some solutions.

Eliminate gas taxes
Biden has proposed eliminating the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gasoline tax. That is not enough by itself, but it’s a start. The President can also encourage state governors to do the same. In California, for instance, the state tax on a gallon of gasoline is 58.8 cents in addition to the federal tax.

Repeal the ethanol mandate
The U.S. Renewable Fuel Standard mandates that gasoline gets mixed with corn ethanol. The President can repeal this ethanol mandate which artificially inflates gas prices.

Waive costly regulations
As mentioned above, President Biden has implemented many regulations that have increased costs. The President could waive those and eliminate the 15-cent-per-gallon fee for switching to summer gasoline blends.

Waive the Jones Act Requirements
The President can repeal the Jones Act, a law that mandates goods brought from one U.S. port to another on ships built in the United States. Meaning that oil transported from Texas to California can be significantly more expensive than imported oil.

Change the antagonistic relationship with the fossil fuel industry
Finally, Biden must realize that we cannot view the fossil fuel industry as an enemy and pledge to eliminate it. Even if we recognize the progressive dream of transitioning to a solar-powered, environmentally friendly economy, it will take decades to get there. In the meantime, the President should embrace America’s role in oil production and provide producers with stability and predictability to feel confident to invest in oil wells, refineries, and pipelines.

Ashton Cohen is an attorney, investor, writer, and host of Ashton Cohen: The ELECTile Dysfunction Podcast.

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