The American-Made Answer on Pump Prices
Posted October 29, 2021
Some jaws dropped a week ago when President Biden told a CNN Town Hall that he didn’t expect gasoline prices would come down until sometime next year and that, frankly, he didn’t have a near-term answer for Americans dealing with the highest prices at the pump in seven years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Since summer the administration’s strategy has been to ask OPEC+ to producer more oil (see here and here). This week Amos Hochstein, U.S. senior advisor for Global Energy Security, urged producers to produce more energy.
If only the administration’s encouragement applied to American producers. Though the president was hard-pressed at the town hall for a solution on gasoline prices, the answer is right before him: American natural gas and oil production. By American workers and helping support America’s economy.
As we’ve said, the U.S. has the oil and gas resources and the technologies, industry and environmental standards and highly skilled and professional workforce to develop them. There it is – the answer the president seeks that his administration seems to miss.
Supporting the production of American natural gas and oil could help put downward pressure on global crude costs that gasoline prices may reflect.
The answer isn’t discouraging American production – by pausing federal oil and gas leasing, canceling infrastructure, threatening punitive tax hikes for energy producers or demanding, as some in Congress did this week, that American oil companies decrease oil production even as OPEC is asked to increase its production – which U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan of Ohio called the “dumbest thing I’ve ever heard.”
The answer is policies that support safe and responsible American production: access to reserves, timely infrastructure approvals, sensible oil and gas permitting that fosters project certainty and acknowledging that natural gas and oil are critically important today and will be tomorrow.
API President and CEO Mike Sommers to the House Oversight Committee this week:
“Gasoline and other energy costs are a key pressure point for household budgets. Inadequate energy supplies [could] further strain individual households, erode consumers’ broader purchasing power, and threaten jobs as well as the broader economic recovery, contributing to inflationary pressure. Pain at the pump hurts American consumers.”
Indeed, it does. The administration has acknowledged the pain; it’s time for it to acknowledge that there’s an American-made solution for the choosing.
About The Author
Mark Green joined API after a career in newspaper journalism, including 16 years as national editorial writer for The Oklahoman in the paper’s Washington bureau. Previously, Mark was a reporter, copy editor and sports editor at an assortment of newspapers. He earned his journalism degree from the University of Oklahoma and master’s in journalism and public affairs from American University. He and his wife Pamela have two grown children and six grandchildren.