Biden’s policies could lead to ‘catastrophe’
Donald Trump’s former energy secretary attacked the Biden administration’s energy policies on Sunday, tying them to inflation and saying restrictions on the US oil industry and rising costs in the country could lead to a “disaster”.
Energy prices have jumped globally in the past three months. Natural gas has climbed nearly 600% this year, and international benchmark Brent crude oil is up more than 60% since the start of the year. Currently, crude is hovering around $ 82 per barrel.
“The restrictive actions of the Biden administration – no to pipelines, no to drilling, no to financing of oil and gas projects abroad … is a stunning reversal of the energy independence achieved under the Trump administration,” said Rick Perry at CNBC’s Hadley Gamble.
The United States never stopped importing oil during the Trump administration, although domestic production increased. On a monthly basis, U.S. production slightly exceeded consumption for most of 2019 and 2020, according to the US Energy Information Administration.
But the most recent EIA data shows that trend continues after Biden became president in 2021, including U.S. energy exports continuing to outpace imports.
As gas prices rose in the United States, Biden’s White House pressured OPEC and its oil-producing allies, including Russia, to speed up plans to increase production. But the group, called OPEC +, said last week it would stick to its plan to boost production by 400,000 barrels per day from December.
“The potential for disaster is very real, both from a national security standpoint and whether or not we can literally keep the lights on,” Perry said.
Perry oversaw pro-oil industry policies during his time at the Department of Energy. A former governor of Texas, he has close ties to the Texas oil industry and has held senior positions on the boards of two oil companies.
The problem of inflation
In addition to pressuring OPEC to produce more oil, US Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm pushed for the Biden administration’s plans to develop national clean energy, arguing that the United States United States should focus on renewable energy as a long-term strategy to ensure that the United States is not “dependent on political adversaries.
Perry pointed to an apparent contradiction between the Biden administration’s stance on clean energy and its pressure on OPEC + to produce more oil.
“On the one hand, you have John Kerry, who travels all over the world, lecturing people on the use of fossil fuels, then you have the Secretary of Energy, Mrs Granholm, who stands up and pleads with Son. Royal Highness Abdulaziz bin Salman to send more crude so that we can lower the cost of gasoline, ”Perry said.
“Our people are hurting,” Perry said, citing the general rising costs in the United States. He added that he believed “$ 100 worth of oil in the next six months is possible.”
Annual inflation in the United States grew at its fastest pace in more than 30 years in September, despite declining personal income, the US Department of Commerce reported last month.
The White House and the US Department of Energy were not immediately available for comment. Granholm acknowledged at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, Scotland, that the amount of clean energy available is not enough to replace fossil fuels. She said a priority for the administration is to make sure Americans can afford to heat their homes and run their cars this winter.
Granholm fought back last week after OPEC and its allies decided to continue with their current production plan, adding 400,000 barrels per day each month until next year.
Asked by CNBC about the United States’ relationship with OPEC de facto leader Saudi Arabia at the COP26 climate summit, Granholm said: “In some places we have strong relationships, and in some places we want our allies to go a little faster. “
President Joe Biden blames the high costs on OPEC + countries, while some oil drillers blame the restrictions on the fossil fuel industry. Granholm pointed out that the pandemic has slowed US oil and gas investment and drilling.
To combat rising prices, Granholm told Bloomberg in an interview last week that tapping the US Strategic Oil Reserve “is certainly on the table as an option.”
The Strategic Petroleum Reserve holds up to 714 million barrels of crude oil. It is located at sites along the Gulf coasts of Texas and Louisiana and is the world’s largest reserve of emergency oil. It is designed as a buffer to protect the United States from a major supply disruption, such as a natural disaster or war.
Perry stressed that the strategic oil reserve is not designed for “long-term assistance”, adding that it would be “a mad rush” to exploit it.
“They’re there for a hurricane or some type of national disaster that’s happening,” Perry said. “You come in, you use it, it’s [for] a short period of time, “Perry said, adding,” I don’t know what tools [Biden]is in the toolbox. I think he is inventing himself as he goes along. “
Biden said on Saturday his administration had “other tools” to deal with high oil prices. “There are other tools in the arsenal that we have to deal with other countries at the appropriate time,” he said.