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The Democrats Are Driving Up Energy Prices on Purpose

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
AP Photo/David Zalubowski

The Democrat agenda depends on deliberately driving up energy prices in order to make their green energy boondoggles appear less outrageously wasteful and destructive than they really are.

That approach has been painfully obvious from the beginning of the Biden administration, which has done everything possible to drive up the cost of energy by throttling supply. One of the very first things Joe Biden did upon occupying the Oval Office was to kill the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have been able to deliver hundreds of thousands of barrels of oil to U.S. refineries every single day.

Next on the chopping block appears to be the Line 5 pipeline that transports over 500,000 barrels of oil per day from Alberta, Canada to Michigan, ultimately feeding numerous refineries in Ohio and beyond. The pipeline has been targeted for elimination by Michigan’s Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, forcing Canada to invoke treaty obligations to keep it open. The Biden administration’s claims that it does not intend to shut down the pipeline offer little reassurance based on its consistent hostility toward the energy industry.

Shutting down the Line 5 pipeline would kill thousands of jobs and throttle economic output in Ohio and other Great Lakes states to the tune of billions of dollars. It would also have reverberating repercussions on our economy contributing to the rising energy costs that are already hurting families in Ohio and across the country.  Meanwhile, activists and judges are holding up over $13 billion worth of new pipelines that would support tens of thousands of jobs throughout America First states like Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Texas.

Biden also took action to strangle the domestic shale industry by withholding new permits for drilling on federal lands – a direct assault on the American energy revolution that delivered true energy independence for our country for the first time in decades under President Trump. Only a backlog of applications left over from the previous administration and a fortuitous court ruling have prevented Biden from wreaking massive damage on the domestic oil industry to this point.

The inevitable result of these assaults on energy production are skyrocketing fuel prices. While inflation is up across the board, oil and gas prices have risen far faster than other staples. As Americans are rightly concerned about the cost of vehicles and groceries rising by 25 percent or more under Biden, gas prices have jumped by almost 60 percent. Rising energy prices aren’t the sole cause of our current inflation crisis, but they’re playing an outsized role in driving the trend.

The Democrats know perfectly well that their anti-energy policies are harmful – in fact, that’s the whole point.

It might seem at first glance that rising oil prices would be a boon for oil producers, since their costs remain the same no matter what and any increase in the price of a barrel of oil is pure profit. But that’s only in the short term. What the oil producers behind America’s recent energy revolution really need are stable prices that allow them to make the sort of long-term investments that ensure adequate domestic energy production. History has shown that oil price spikes lead to significant drops in demand as consumers change their behavior in response to higher prices, resulting in collapsing prices that force producers to either shut down wells or operate at a loss.

In other words, artificially inflating the price of oil is yet another attack on the oil industry.

But that’s not all. Rising oil prices also mask the wastefulness of costly and unreliable “green” energy sources such as solar and wind power. In a truly free market, solar and wind would be shunned by electricity producers as they are far less cost-effective than almost all other conventional energy sources unless conditions are absolutely ideal – and the ideal conditions for generating solar and wind energy exist in very few places on Earth. Even then, wind and solar are subject to the fickleness of Mother Nature, which can easily shut down production with an ice storm like the one that paralyzed Texas’ energy grid

But Democrats love green energy because it creates a permanent constituency in the form of government-subsidized green energy companies that throw their political support – and dollars – behind Democrat candidates. There would hardly be any windmills or solar panels if the American people weren’t subsidizing it with our tax dollars. Democrats keep the tax dollars flowing to green energy companies, and those companies return the favor by lining the pockets of Democrat politicians.

That’s the entire Democrat energy agenda in a nutshell: Drive up energy prices and then reap the financial windfall while ordinary Americans suffer.

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