Leading national media outlets just aren’t buying the spin from top Biden administration officials and Congressional Democrats on gasoline prices that recently hit a record high of $5 per gallon.
This past week, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) were both called out by major cable TV hosts on their mixed messages towards the U.S. energy industry and long-term investment, saying that it makes no sense to demand energy companies invest billions of dollars to ramp up production and output in the short-term while also undercutting their ability to gain a return off those investments over the long haul.
On CNN, host John Berman pointed out the blatant contradiction in the administration’s messaging on the production of oil and refining of gasoline during his interview with Granholm.
Berman: “Five years from now, 10 years from now, are you telling me you want them drilling for more oil? You want refineries putting out more gasoline in five years or 10 years?”
Granholm: “What we’re saying is today we need that supply increased. Of course, in five or 10 years, actually in the immediate, we are also pressing on the accelerator, if you will, to move toward clean energy so we don’t have to be under the thumb of petro dictators like [Vladimir] Putin.”
Berman: “But that’s the problem for these companies. These companies are saying, you know, ‘you’re asking me to do more now, invest more now, when in fact five or 10 years from now we don’t think that demand will there be, and the administration doesn’t even necessarily want it to be there.’” (emphasis added)
On CNBC, host Becky Quick called it “disingenuous” for Khanna and other Dems to demand short-term production increases while undermining confidence in long-term growth.
Khanna: “I think we have to distinguish between the long-term and the short-term. Of course, we need short-term production to go up. … How do we diversify our energy sources over the long run so we’re getting 1 percent, 2 percent more in renewable energy? But short-term, there is no doubt we need our production to go up. I’ve advocated that explicitly.”
Quick: “You want short-term production, not long-term, and we want refineries to pump out more gasoline right now, that’s part of the problem right now, we don’t have refinery capacity, but those are not investments that businesses are willing to make if we are telling them that this is for the short-term: ‘We want them to spend billions of dollars to make additional investments, but, by the way, we don’t want those investments to continue producing a decade from now.’
“It doesn’t make financial sense. There are consequences when you say you don’t want things over the long haul. Businesses stop spending capex, that’s what the oil companies have done.
“It’s a little disingenuous to say, ‘we want you to produce short-term, but then we’re going to take away your ability to make money off those investments we’ve asked you to make.’” (emphasis added)
These two TV interviews are just the latest in the cascading criticism being leveled at the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats on their mixed messages towards energy development, including John Kerry’s recent statement that “we absolutely don’t” need more drilling, Biden committing a major blunder on refinery capacity, and Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) calling for increased taxes on energy producers.
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