What President Biden Didn’t Say During the State of the Union

President Joe Biden delivered his State of the Union address tonight and the speech was notable for what he didn’t say.

As Russia continues its invasion of Ukraine that’s sent energy prices skyrocketing, the president never voiced support for increased U.S. oil and natural gas production in response to the higher gasoline and home heating prices being paid by consumers, despite stating, “Instead of relying on foreign supply chains, let’s make it in America.”

As Energy In Depth noted last week, Biden has recently said that he would “work like the devil” and start “using every tool” to bring down gasoline prices, but he once again failed to back greater domestic production – this time on the biggest stage.

Further, despite spending ample time during the address discussing “Made In America” and a Rust Belt resurgence, not once did President Biden acknowledge the critical role that an abundance of affordable U.S. oil and natural gas has played in enabling this.

In the days leading up to the speech, elected officials, energy policy experts, and industry leaders have all called on the administration to support more production to help American consumers and bolster our allies in Europe through greater exports.

Instead, President Biden touted his second order to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. As with the first time the administration did this last fall, the SPR should be used for true emergencies, not for manipulating gas prices in a way that would distort the market over the long term, as Jeff Eshleman, COO of the Independent Petroleum Association of America, wrote last week.

Nor does a SPR release make anything more than a minor blip on prices and OilPrice.com reported on Monday, “Oil Prices Soar Despite News Of Strategic Petroleum Reserve Release.”

The article further notes:

“The United States has agreed to release 30 million barrels of crude oil from its SPR. The rest of the IEA members in Europe and Asia will release the remaining 30 million barrels.

“The concerted release is said to have a greater impact on the global oil markets than just a single country’s release—but analysts have questioned how much of an impact it would really have on the global markets, considering that 60 million barrels is less than a day of global oil demand.”

In response to the address, IPAA President & CEO Barry Russell issued the following statement:

“One of the world’s most powerful tactics against rising energy costs is secure, affordable, reliable American oil and natural gas production. The United States is a global leader in oil and natural gas production, and this should be encouraged. But, recently, federal regulations and policies seem to ignore this opportunity. Just two years ago, and throughout the pandemic, oil prices crashed, even to negative levels. Allegations about price gouging, which have been manufactured for decades, are false and unconstructive. America’s oil and natural gas companies stand ready for more responsible energy production here at home, for our nation and our worldwide allies; but those calls seem to go unanswered. And this creates much uncertainty for companies that need to plan projects that may take a year or more. It won’t be immediate, but now is the time to create solutions that get the nation back on track to energy and national security.”

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