Pretty much everyone who understands politics can see President Joe Biden is tapping the Strategic Petroleum Reserve again to try to keep gas prices down and help Democrats ahead of the midterms.
And according to MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Biden releasing oil from the reserve to keep gas prices down helps save democracy.
“Oil companies, OPEC, Saudis, not exactly eager to make sure prices are low before an election where Democratic candidates are vulnerable. It’s also why Saudi Arabia might want to suddenly announce a cut in oil production right before the midterms,” Hayes said.
He went on, “Of course, Democrats can’t just throw their hands up and say ‘oh well,’ because the future of American democracy is in — as we report night in, night out on this program — real peril, existential peril.
Watch the video below:
MSNBC’s @chrislhayes suggests oil companies, OPEC, and Saudi Arabia are conspiring to keep gas prices high so Democrats lose in November — and that tapping the SPR is thus the only way to “preserve American democracy” pic.twitter.com/ndqYY7Umty
— Tom Elliott (@tomselliott) October 20, 2022
After citing a statistic that showed 60% of Americans will have an “election denier” on the ballot, he warned that Democrats could not only rely on talking about threats to democracy to win over voters.
“People have complicated, busy lives, and they’ve got things they’re thinking about when they go to the polls like the cost of living, inflation, and yes, gas prices — the one price in America that is posted on every street corner,” Hayes added.
Finally, the host explained to his viewers that Biden has to release oil from the reserve to keep prices low and help Democrats because of democracy:
“And so we find ourselves in a situation where keeping gas prices low is key to preserving and strengthening the future of our democracy. And so here we are, hence Biden releasing oil from our reserve today.”
Biden’s decision to release another 15 million barrels from the reserve comes as it is at its lowest level in nearly 40 years. And after OPEC+ nations announced plans to cut production, which will likely lead gas prices to go back up.
Yes, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the constraint it put on the global oil market due to sanctions on Russian oil pushed prices upward.
But it is not the sole reason gas prices are higher. While demand for oil bounced back from the early days of the pandemic, oil production and refinery capabilities have not caught up.
And here is where Biden has put himself in a bind. His administration is pushing for a transition to green energy and urging Americans to buy electric cars — which without massive changes to the oil industry’s business model would eventually put it out of business.
The push for a transition away from the fossil fuel industry is not helping to drive the necessary investments in refining and production capabilities. Why would investors want to pour money into an industry the White House essentially wants to phase out?
In the meantime, the president has scolded oil companies and pushed for an investigation into allegations of price gouging, and his press secretary told them just to be “patriots” and produce more oil.
So yes, tapping the oil reserve will help keep gas prices down. But Biden probably would not be in this position of depleting it if he had not come into office with such a combative approach to the oil and gas industry.
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