In one oil-producing nation, gas sells for the equivalent of $2.35 per gallon. In another, gas sells for almost twice that — $4.532 per gallon.
The first is Saudi Arabia. The second is the United States.
The comparison came to light after NBC’s Kelly O’Donnell tweeted a video from Saudi Arabia that showed gas prices that haven’t been seen in the U.S. in a long time.
“Checking on gas prices in Saudi Arabia. 2.33 Riyal per litre. About 62 cents US. Watch,” she wrote.
Checking on gas prices in Saudi Arabia. 2.33 Riyal per litre. About 62 cents US. Watch. pic.twitter.com/G19PJWzLAb
— Kelly O’Donnell (@KellyO) July 16, 2022
Doing the math, 62 cents per liter, at 3.78541 liters in a gallon, comes to about $2.35 per gallon.
There was a time not that long ago when such prices were not the stuff of fairy tales. The average gas price in 2020, the last full year when former President Donald Trump was in office, was $2.17 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. On Monday, it was more than $4.50 a gallon, according to AAA.
So what happened?
The Biden administration has claimed that Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is to blame, but prices were rising before that.
The Trump White House was strongly supportive of the domestic oil and natural gas industries. Biden has put limits on domestic energy production from the day he took office.
I’m not a Trumper.
Although I do miss the way he supported oil companies and drilling to keep our gas prices low.
(That was nice, having a president who doesn’t fight them and shut them down.)
— Jessie Vance (@Katt2080) July 12, 2022
Given the overwhelming bias the mainstream media has shown in favor of the Biden White House since even before Biden took office, it’s unlikely the video was intended to make Biden’s policies look bad, but that’s the effect.
For Democrats struggling to convince voters ahead of midterm elections that will define the remainder of Biden’s four-year term in office, it was the wrong video for Americans to see less than four months before they go to the polls.
An administration’s attitudes toward oil production is key to pricing because “there is evidence that expectations of increased future supply has a beneficial impact on current prices and expectations of future supply drying up has a negative impact on current prices,” the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Ben Lieberman said, according to a June report in the Washington Examiner.
But the Biden administration’s default mode is harsh rhetoric aimed at the domestic energy sector.
“Such extinction rhetoric, coming from the now-president, has an unprecedented chilling effect on investment,” Lieberman said, according to the Washington Examiner.
The Biden administration plans to block more offshore drilling in the Atlantic and Pacific and limit oil production in the Gulf of Mexico. Absolutely mind-boggling.
The President doesn’t care about bringing gas prices or inflation down. He cares about his woke green policies.
— Mike Pompeo (@mikepompeo) July 15, 2022
If the hostility to drilling were not enough, red tape is strangling the energy sector, conservative economist Vance Ginn said.
“The regulatory chokehold imposed by the Biden administration on oil production in place of a Green New Deal has drastically raised gasoline prices, thereby hurting lower-income people the most,” he said, according to the Washington Examiner.
“This is yet another example of the high cost of big-government environmentalism when the better approach is to remove government barriers so that free markets can better let people adapt to changes in the environment at a much lower cost,” Ginn said.
Biden caused it. We were energy independent under Trump and actually selling barrels to other countries. Low gas prices.
Biden stop the pipeline construction, stop Drilling in Alaska and the Gulf. Now he’s begging terrorists for oil. Also just gave China 1 million barrels.
— ❌Snooterville❌ 🇺🇸 (@snooterville) July 12, 2022
In a July 2 commentary piece for the New York Post, author Michael Shellenberger — a critic of “climate crisis” alarmists — wrote that if Biden really wanted to increase global oil production, he could do more than visit Saudi Arabia, hat in hand.
“He could invoke the National Defense Act to accelerate the rate of oil and gas permits. He could set a floor of $80/barrel for re-filling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR), which would be a powerful incentive for the industry, because it would prevent prices from falling to unprofitable levels. Biden could announce trade agreements with American allies to supply them with liquified natural gas, which would incentivize more natural gas production and lower prices,” he said.
But, he noted, that would mean Biden would have to start being nice to those he marginalizes.
“When oil and gas executives visited the White House in June, Biden snubbed them by refusing to attend the meeting. Instead, at the very same moment, he met with wind industry executives,” he noted.
“The problem is that Biden is in the grip of a pro-scarcity ideology that demands humankind return to relying 100 percent on renewables, like we did before the industrial revolution. But that’s a delusion,” he wrote.
“And so, when you fill up your car or truck, and you feel tempted to blame President Biden for high gasoline prices, go right ahead. Because it really is his fault,” he concluded.
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.