President Joe Biden (D), having had his nose rubbed in the criticality of fossil fuels to our economy and those of all nations around the world by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and Putin’s frequent use of oil and natural gas exports as weapons, now is begging other nations and consortia to produce more oil. And he’s insisting that our own oil and gas producers do more to produce while castigating them for being responsible for the present high and continuing inflation rates us Americans are experiencing.
An anonymous White House spokeswoman:
Mr Biden “wants to do everything possible and sensible to mitigate” the affect of high energy prices on American families.
“He’s been clear in recent remarks that oil and gas companies should help ensure that oil supply meets demand, and at the same time we need to advance clean energy options and decrease our reliance on fossil fuels[.]”
This is disingenuous, though. Biden and his advisors know full well that oil and gas producers cannot just turn on the wells and turn them off at will. It costs time and money to cap the wells in a safe, environmentally protective manner, and it costs time and money to uncap them in a safe, environmentally protective manner. It costs time and money to protect pipelines from the pressure reductions associated with significant production decreases, and it costs time and money to protect pipelines from the pressure increases associated with significant production increases. It costs time and money to reschedule and reallocate rail cars for oil transport.
It especially costs time and money to dig new wells, frack new wells, and lay additional pipelines to handle the increased production. That transport brings me to refineries—these cost time and money to to close and to open in order to handle refining decreases and increases. Natural gas-to-liquid natural gas facilities are even more expensive to close and reopen, and require even more money than simple refineries to build more of, which we need to do since we don’t have enough here, and potential customer nations don’t have enough of at the receiving end.
The time and cost problems don’t end there. It takes time—years—to recoup those costs, which run to billions of dollars per year. And yet, the current Progressive-Democrat political environment is one of zealously anti-fossil fuels regulation, drilling blockages, pipeline blockages.
Oil and gas producers are understandably and justifiably chary of spending that time and money to alter their production schedules. They can’t trust the Progressive-Democrats to let them produce long enough to recoup all those costs.
There’s just no reason to believe Biden and his advisors are serious about oil and gas or of high energy prices or of inflation generally.