As published in The Hill on February 21, 2022
By Kathleen Sgamma and Dan Naatz
Last week, President Biden said he would “work like the devil” to bring down gasoline prices. Somehow, after more than half a year of watching him beg Russia and OPEC to increase their oil production while making it more difficult for American oil and natural gas producers, we’re skeptical. But here are a few simple ideas to help the president channel his inner Lucifer and reduce energy prices.
Oil and natural gas companies and associated businesses participate in many trade associations. Here’s what makes Western Energy Alliance unique:
The oil and natural gas industry has a ton of trade associations. There’s at least one, often multiple, trade associations for each producing state; trade associations for each sector; those representing large companies and those representing independents; and trades associations that focus on national issues down to local issues. That makes sense, since we’re a highly complex industry and there are many levels of government and agencies with their fingers in the pie. No one trade association can handle it all, even the biggest.
The Presidio is a former military base converted into a 1,500-acre beach-front park located next to the Golden Gate Bridge. The well-adorned park features several private residences, office spaces, hotels, a golf course, and event venues located in the heart of Speaker Pelosi’s 12th Congressional District.
Here are a few key questions that need to be answered about how the Presidio’s funding was inserted into the Natural Resources list of priorities and how it will be used:
It’s official. The Biden Administration will conduct no lease sales this quarter or in the 2021 fiscal year that ends September 30th. August 15th marked the 45-day deadline to announce a lease sale before the end of the quarter as required by the Mineral Leasing Act. It also marked 60 days since Judge Terry Doughty in the Western District of Louisiana issued a preliminary injunction overturning the leasing ban.
As anticipated, the Interior Department announced the appeal to the Fifth Circuit on the last possible day. The justification of course started with climate change, which we all know is practically irrelevant as federal production would simply be displaced to nonfederal lands or overseas. Hence President Biden’s plea to Russia and OPEC just the week before to increase production.
Monday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released a major chapter in its sixth assessment report (AR6), the first significant update since 2014. IPCC is the “gold standard” of climate science, based on thousands of published studies.
But science is not a golden oracle that dictates what policies follow. It’s up to policymakers to take the science and translate it into realistic, actionable policy. The IPCC doesn’t provide solutions on how to reduce carbon emissions while still meeting the needs of humanity for food, shelter, mobility, home heating and cooling, medicines, water, and other life-sustaining products and services.
There is rarely a clearer illustration of this reality than the actions from the White House just two days after the IPCC report was released. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan issued a statement about the effects of high gasoline prices on the global economy. This follows efforts over the summer to encourage OPEC and Russia to increase production. The White House also directed the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to investigate oil companies for potential market manipulation.
Days before President Joe Biden meets one-on-one with Russian President Vladimir Putin, imports of Russian crude oil to the United States reached a record high and are expected to increase this summer. The president, however, is not expected to address the increased cross-Atlantic oil trading when the two leaders meet on Wednesday.
“Last month we saw a record 5.75 million barrels of Russian #crude discharged in the US, and we’re projecting a further record this month of 7.5mn bbls,” according to commodity trading analysts at ClipperData who monitor cargo shipments worldwide.