LIKE a lot of polemical flash points in the contemporary world – especially in the Democrat Party’s Looney Tunes version of the United States – economics and even money itself have become either cartoon shorts for a news cycle or post-truth theatres of phony war. Having foolishly driven the US into inflationary crisis, Joe Biden – meaning the handlers who tell him what to ‘decide’ – yesterday announced a release of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve “to lower gas and oil prices for Americans.” This will have little effect – and is not really intended to – on pump prices in the fuel-thirsty holiday season. The goal is narrative, not economic.
Guess who stored provisions for America’s rainy day
As a prudential measure in a world economy then shutting down and to boost a domestic industry weakened by a glut, in March 2020 President Trump ordered the SPR to be filled to the brim. He also requested that at least 30 million barrels of the top-up be American-made. At the time, crude globally was priced to sell. The Trump plan was scuppered by congressional Democrats who didn’t want to support fossil fuels. As Bloomberg reported in June, this year:
It was a missed buying opportunity. At the time, buying $3 billion worth of West Texas Intermediate crude would have brought in 122.5 million barrels for the Strategic Petroleum Reserve at $24.49 each — and likely require finding additional storage space. If sold at today’s price of about $73.60 per barrel, that crude would generate slightly more than $9 billion, for a profit of about $6 billion.
The Strategic Trump-was-Right Reserve is flooded to overflowing. Like Tuesday’s SPR symbolism, however, Donald Trump’s consignment would not of itself have tempered inflation or stopped the price of fuel from doubling since November 2020. The US consumes 18 million barrels of oil every day. That means the ‘extra’ supply now making its way circuitously to motorists throughout America will be used up by Sunday. Even the strategic reserve ‘only’ holds 605 million barrels. It was never meant to fuel the US but only to manage markets and forestall short-term economic collapse in a national emergency.
If Joe Biden was an old-fashioned ‘gas’ station attendant and America a Mack, he just filled her up with a thimble. Three things make the stunt contemptible in addition to conventionally ridiculous. First, when climateer Democrats deep-sixed President Trump’s $3 billion buy-US drive last March, they celebrated – “crowed,” actually – about the damage they had done to the energy sector. Does that sound like the conduct of people concerned about the long-term affordability of fuel? Recollect that in the first hours of his first day in office the newly sworn-in President shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline. Second, that replacement pipeline: for cash. The $2.2 trillion “recovery” bill – signed into law without Trump’s “bailout for big oil,” as Chuck Schumer called it – a $1.9 trillion “rescue” stimulus a year later and last week’s $2 trillion Build Back Better binge have drowned the economy in greenbacks. But this is not being acknowledged as problematic by Biden’s carers as they pretend to combat inflation five weeks from Christmas.
The third reason this pantomime is so shameful is its tiresome dishonesty. Mr Biden today blames the oil industry for the price blowouts that he and the Democrats caused. “I will not stand by while oil companies engage in profiteering at the expense of American families,” he lied on Twitter. But late last night, American time, ‘he’ tweeted that US diplomats had convinced China, India, Japan, the Republic of Korea and the UK to draw down their own reserves to increase supply. Why would the President direct the FTC to investigate American oil companies for hoarding if he had already accepted deficient supply was an international dilemma?
What we have here is a hoax for economics that rhymes with Biden-headed hoaxes on Russia, race and ‘insurrection.’ Democrats responsible for a nationwide disaster frame their enemies for it, lie about its origins, make-believe they’re solving it and turn somebody into the cops. “More oil now, less oil later: Biden’s tricky message on energy,” says the Washington Post. A fraught adjective for a President during an oil shock but a classic of hypocrisy.