This week, Americans going to the pumps are experiencing sticker shock like they have not experienced since 2008 (Yes, I know there are no stickers on the pump, but “fuel gauge shock” does not have the same ring). Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has exposed the fragility of the international energy markets. There have been immediate consequences and nothing makes Americans irritated faster than taking out a second mortgage to fill their cars.
The Biden administration leaped into action by announcing they would tap the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve.
Sounds incredible, right? At least it did to me until I looked up how much oil America consumes in one day. On average, America burns 20.6 barrels of oil daily. So, Biden’s move buys us 36 hours. Between the time this is written and when you read it, we have most likely consumed far more than 20 million barrels. Public relations problem solved! Jen Psaki will be psyched not to have answered any of those pesky gas questions anymore.
Jen Psaki and even Biden, I dare say, know the answer to solve the rising gas prices. Unleash American energy. But they do not want to do that even though it would make the petroleum dictatorships around the world weaker and the US stronger. The current administration is not interested in a strong America. They would rather beg foreign leaders for oil instead of handling the problem in a way that helps Americans.
You can laugh off inflation as a theoretical concept when it is indeed “transitory.” When it hits average Americans every day at the pump and the grocery store, you have a serious political problem. Biden certainly will not care. He will have another ice cream and go to Delaware for the weekend. His handlers, however, must see the writing on the wall. Barring some unforeseen Machiavellian development, there will be a political reckoning and realignment this fall that will be a once-in-a-lifetime event. No amount of oil released from our strategic reserves can stop that.