Presidential Climate Envoy: “We Absolutely Don’t” Need More Drilling

The past week has been filled with President Joe Biden blundering over gasoline prices and refinery capacity, the Interior Department once again delaying federal lease sales, and a leading Democratic senator calling for tax increases on energy companies.

Lost in the shuffle, John Kerry – the U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate – was busy sending the unmistakable message that the Biden administration does not support increased oil and natural gas development in the United States.

During a discussion at the University of Southern California’s Center on Public Diplomacy, Kerry seemingly mocked American consumers worried about “energy security” amid record high gasoline prices, saying:

“Energy security worry is driving a lot of the thoughts right now of ‘oh, we need more drilling, we need more drilling, we need to go back to coal.’ No, we don’t. We absolutely don’t.” (emphasis added)

It’s yet another reminder that while President Biden may say that he is going to “work like the devil” to bring down gasoline prices, top administration officials carrying out his energy agenda are in fact working overtime to push policies in the opposite direction.

The result is a giant mess of mixed messages.

National Climate Adviser Gina McCarthy recently proclaimed that “we need less and less investment in fossil fuels” and that the president “remains absolutely committed to not moving forward with additional drilling on public lands.”

Meanwhile, Energy Security Jennifer Granholm is considering a crude oil export ban, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg somehow thinks that oil companies set the price of gasoline hour by hour, and Congressional Democrats are pushing bogus price gouging investigations and a counterintuitive windfall profit tax.

Kerry’s statement that “we absolutely don’t” need more drilling is unfortunately the latest in a long line of comments aimed at undermining the U.S. energy industry at a time when we need more production to fix the supply and demand imbalance.

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