President Biden has repeatedly blamed Russia and greedy oil companies for record high energy and gas prices, but a check of those in the energy industry shows most blame Biden himself. A new survey of oil and gas firms from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas finds federal government regulation is a key culprit in the current market uncertainty. One executive in the survey put a finer point on it, saying the "current administration has declared war on fossil fuels."
Besides blaming Russia and price-gouging, the administration's only solutions to high gas prices so far have been band-aid measures like releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve or pushing Congress for a federal gas tax holiday. Recently, the White House went a step further and opened up limited federal lands for oil and gas leases. But industry analysts already see this as election-year window dressing. "This may create a short-term ramp up in supply that might have some effect on bringing prices down, but largely for political benefit," says Karr Ingham, Texas petroleum economist.
Ingham tells KTRH the oil and gas industry is generally frustrated with what is happening in Washington, D.C. "There is a great sense (among producers) that their own government, in terms of the administration and the Democrat Congress, is against every move they make in the name of climate change," he says.
One encouraging sign for the industry is the recent U.S. Supreme Court's ruling that reins in the power of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to regulate greenhouse gases. "Over the years, the EPA has gone far afield of any previously passed law, and is just putting regulations in place that match up with their extreme climate change agenda," says Ingham. "So this (ruling) has extraordinary implications."
Ultimately, Ingham believes the solution to production and price issues is right in front of us (and below us). "We need a long-term policy that turns Texas and American oil and gas producers loose to do what they do best," he says. "And that is generate an abundant supply of domestically produced crude oil and natural gas."