Jennifer Granholm, Biden’s Secretary of Energy giggled like a nervous schoolgirl being asked to go on her first date when Tom Keene of Bloomberg News posed the question, “What is the Granholm plan to increase oil production in America?”
She followed up her giggles by saying, “That’s hilarious” and then going on to state that oil prices are controlled by a cartel known as OPEC which had stated its members would not increase oil production. Although OPEC may have a heavy hand in establishing oil prices, in 2020 52% of the oil imported by the United States came from Canada, 11% from Mexico, 7% from Russia, 7% from Saudi Arabia and 4% from Columbia. This in spite of the fact that the U.S pumps 18.6% of the global crude oil production, making it the largest produced in the world.
There are a host of factor that determine oil prices and consequently the price of gas and diesel fuel, but the price of oil isn’t the issue with respect to the Granholm giggle. The issue is her lack of regard for the hardship caused by high gas prices, a topic she apparently considers to be “hilarious”. Or possibly, she just doesn’t know and doesn’t care.
Admittedly, Keene’s question was dumb, but even dumber was Granholm’s, “hold my beer, I can beat that” response. On top of that, she told the world that the Biden administration will be as incompetent at handling oil prices as it was with the evacuation of Americans from Afghanistan.
Giggling in response to a question is typically a sign of nervousness. In this case it would seem to be an admission by Granholm that she has been a failure as Energy Secretary. Beyond that, in her position, she should have enough sense to realize that in addition to being insulting to the American people, it makes her look even more incompetent that she is. She should also know that steep rises in oil prices are usually followed by steep declines and steep declines are usually followed by steep rises. Predicting when oil prices will move dramatically is difficult at best, but citing history, as opposed to giggling, would have been a more appropriate response. Especially for someone with the title of Secretary of Energy.
Although supply and demand at a given point in time exerts a significant influence on oil prices, so do projections for the future. Biden has done virtually every thing he could to send a message that future U.S. oil production and refining will be reduced. He killed the Keystone XL pipeline, imposed an indefinite pause on oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands and waters, suspended drilling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and has proposed increasing taxes on companies engaged in oil and gas development.
Clearly, someone in the Biden administration should wake Joe up and encourage him to take steps to encourage U.S. oil pumpers to increase production. That would increase supply which typically leads to lower prices. But even if it didn’t have a significant influence on price, working with the U.S. oil industry is certainly a better plan than giggling and ceding every aspect of pricing to OPEC.