President Joe Biden’s cancellation of the Keystone Pipeline on day one of his Presidency and his subsequent executive orders aimed at reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels while pursuing green energy remains controversial.
Biden, who labeled inflation as “transitory” during the summer of 2021, has turned to OPEC to request an increase in oil production.
The price for a barrel of crude oil has risen from $21.04 per barrel in April of 2020, during President Donald J. Trump’s administration when energy independence was finally achieved after decades of dependence on foreign oil, to nearly $95.00.
While the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted the entire world and its use of energy, Biden’s energy policies have proven to be the catalyst for skyrocketing energy prices.
Immediately, after taking office on Jan. 20, 2021, Biden reentered the Paris climate accord. After doing so, he remarked, “We’ve already waited too long to deal with climate change.”
His executive orders during the remaining days of Jan. effectively instructed the Secretary of the Department of Interior to conserve 30 percent of all federal lands by 2030 and to prioritize climate change across all levels of the federal government while bringing a halt to all new federal gas and oil permits in addition to reviewing those that had recently been issued during the Trump administration.
Whiting Petroleum, a company that filed for Chapter 11 protection in 2020 during the COID-19 outbreak, once operated an office in Covington. The proceedings were completed by the end of the third quarter in 2021.
Diamond Offshore Drilling, a Texas company, filed for bankruptcy on April 23, 2021, due to COVID-19 and the slowdown of drilling in the Gulf of Mexico that prevented the company from making its interest payments to banks.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, 41 oil companies had already filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2019.
When Trump left office, the national average for the price of one gallon of gasoline was $1.86. In just over 13 months under the Biden administration, the average price on the national level has risen to $3.62 per gallon with the price in Calif. and New York approaching $5.00 per gallon.
In October of 2019 during Trump’s administration, the U.S. saw its oil and gas exports surpass its oil and gas imports, meaning that the U.S. was producing more oil and gas than America needed for the first time in decades.
However, the term, “energy independent,” is subject to debate in that some economists do not consider the process of defining the nation’s independence on energy as being accurate.
After Biden’s recent plea to Saudi Arabia to produce more oil, CEO Vicki Hollub, a mineral engineer who became the first woman to become the head of an American oil company in April of 2016 when she was hired by Occidental Petroleum, chided Biden by pointing out that he should be calling on American oil companies to increase production rather than asking OPEC to produce more petroleum.
Now that crude oil is approaching $95 per barrel, the COVID-19 pandemic coupled with the shift from Trump’s “American first energy policy,” Biden appears to have reached a crossroads in light of Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Eastern Ukraine.
Biden’s shift from U.S. production of fossil fuels to pursue a path forward that relies more heavily on renewable energy production leaves him facing Putin who has spearheaded the completion of the Nord Stream II pipeline more than 700 miles from Russia under the Baltic Sea to the coast of Germany.
Biden has declared publically that should Russia invade Ukraine that the U.S. will shut down the Nord Stream II pipeline, but after Putin gave the orders to send Russian troops into Eastern Ukraine over the weekend, Germany has now refused to certify Nord Stream II due to Russian aggression, leaving NATO to deal with Russian aggression.
Russia’s aggression perpetrated against Eastern Ukraine has the stock markets tumbling, and some economists are predicting that the price of crude oil per barrel may soar to $150.
During Biden’s first year in office, 32 major U.S. companies filed for Chapter 11 protection, including J.C. Penny that once operated on Main Street in Covington.