Republicans have spent the past two weeks demanding that President Joe Biden ban imports of Russian fuel into our nation. Now that he’s done so, they can now return to complaining about gas prices.
First off, if you’re in a vehicle that gets less than 20 miles per gallon, shut up. Large trucks, jeeps, and SUVs are about as necessary for most people as are assault rifles. You don’t need them. Trust me on this, your toxic masculinity will fit inside a Prius.
Oil prices are rising and they will continue to rise. A lot of Americans who are unable to see beyond our borders wonder why prices will increase because of this ban when Russian oil only accounted for three percent of U.S. consumption.
Oil prices are set worldwide, not just by one nation. It’s why you’re always hearing how a president can’t really affect prices at the pump. Prices are set by speculation, you know…guesses. The market makes a guess on how much oil there will be produced versus demand versus consumption and usually, the only thing that really changes is the price. After Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, oil prices went from $17 to $46 a barrel on speculation that the world’s oil supply would be impacted negatively. While production was hurt in Kuwait, worldwide supply and demand didn’t change much at all.
So, as the United States cuts off that three percent from Russia, it will seek to replace that three percent. Whether it’s from domestic production or imported, our replacing that three percent will take three percent away from someone else. That someone else will seek to replace the percentage they lost, and so on, and so on.
Conservatives will ask why we don’t just start producing more here in the U.S. New oil production doesn’t introduce new oil into the market overnight. It can take months to years. If there is produced oil stored that’s just sitting around, then that can be impactful overnight. That’s what Iran has because sanctions have limited who they can sell to. If we can make a deal with Iran, that’ll require us to ease sanctions, then that oil, even though it wouldn’t come here, would open up the markets. It could bring oil down. However, the Iran-nuclear agreement would have to be restored, and guess which nation is one of the partners in that. Yes, Russia.
Golly, I sure do wish I could remember who killed that deal because if he hadn’t, a lot of Iranian oil would be in the market today easing world oil prices.
If China decides to increase its imports of Russian oil, that would free up other oil-producing nations to export to places like Europe. It would affect the international market. It’s all just a bunch of oily dominoes.
But American conservatives are having difficulty understanding how the oil market, or anything else, works. It’s easier to scream and gaslight than to research and study. White House spokesperson Jen Psaki cleared a few things up a few days ago as Fox News reporter Peter Doocy kept pushing his network’s talking points. Jen said to Peter, “Peter, let me give you the facts here. I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment.”
Doocy argued that gas prices were rising before Russia’s invasion, hence, all increases at the pump are President Biden’s fault. He’s conveniently ignoring that the prices were rising because of Putin’s impending invasion. Remember how he spent months surrounding Ukraine with his army? Also, what has President Biden done to raise gas prices internationally? Bueller? Bueller?
Conservatives like Doocy argue that the Biden administration is hostile to oil producers and that’s affected the market. Even the oil companies are accusing the Biden administration of preventing them from drilling and won’t give them more leases to drill in this nation. Psaki pointed out there are “9,000 approved drilling permits that are not being used, so the suggestion that we are not allowing companies to drill is inaccurate. I would suggest you ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more.”
The reason oil companies aren’t drilling on land where they currently hold leases is that they don’t want to spend that money to drill at this time.
There’s also the stupid argument of allowing the Keystone pipeline to deliver oil from Canada to waiting ships in the Gulf of Mexico, but that wouldn’t bring new oil to the international market (that oil is not for U.S. consumption) as that oil is already being sent to the gulf through other means, like trains. Psaki tried to explain this to Doocy but I’m not sure it stuck.
You could also ask the oil companies to kick in a little bit. In 2021 alone, Exxon Mobil, Shell, BP, and Chevron made a combined $75 billion in profits. Instead of investing that money in new drilling in this nation, where they hold 9,000 unused leases, they’re been using that money to buy back their own shares. While the oil industry says new leases from the Biden administration would magically introduce new oil to the market overnight and bring gas prices down, they also say they’re increasing production immediately by 160,000 barrels a day collectively—but warned we wouldn’t see that oil at the pump anytime soon.
This brings us back to weaning us off fossil fuels and doing more with renewable energy. Republicans will grumble that increasing that use now won’t be effective in the short run and would do nothing to ease current gas prices. But, we’ve been telling you this for years. Every time we get into one of these situations, you continue to argue it won’t help us at this moment. But maybe, I’m just spitballing here, we reduce our dependency on fossil fuels now so that next time we’re in one of these situations we won’t be in one of these situations.
We consume nearly 21 million barrels of oil a day. China and India, which both have larger populations than we do, consume 15 million a day combined. But in the near future, nobody is going to be consuming any oil because it’ll all be gone. What’ll it be like for the United States when it runs out of its crack? We are not preparing for this.
A study at Stanford University says the world will run out of oil by 2052. There are other studies with very similar estimates. So in about 30 years, bye-bye, oil. Ten years after that, natural gas will run out. Coal has until about 2090. These are non-renewable resources. For the conservatives reading this, I’m going to tell you what “non-renewable” means because you behave like you don’t know. It means it doesn’t renew.
Fossil fuels don’t renew. When it’s gone, it’s gone. We need to expand our use of renewable energy and wean ourselves off from being dependent on oil, natural gas, and coal.
America, your overcompensation is having us overconsuming.
See more award-winning editorial cartoons from Clay Jones at Claytoonz.com.
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