Biden releases US Strategic Petroleum Reserves...to China
Joe Biden is busy blaming gas station owners for the soaring prices of filling up at the pump.
Why, those dirty birds!
It's his latest scheme to deflect blame for the nasty price shocks he's brought on us, with gas going for about $5 a gallon nationwide, and $6-something in tax-happy, save-the-planet California.
He's also blamed Putin, Big Oil producers, oil refineries, Republicans, and anyone but himself when it's obvious enough that the root of the problem is his crush-the-oil-industry policies that he launched on day one in the name of "going green." Combine it with his monster rounds of federal money-printing, which has brought on authentic inflation, and it's a double-whammy of inflation and constrained supply.
Oh, but rest assured, he says he's the good guy here:
I promise you I'm doing everything possible — everything possible to bring the price of energy down, gas prices down. And I want to make sure we all work on this together.
So he babbled. That's from the White House official transcript.
His "everything possible" is weasel words. What he means is everything possible for him politically to bring down prices, not everything possible that will result actual price-cutting at the pump.
That's why he's failed to reverse his horrible decisions on the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada, which would have brought America all the energy it needed, or reverse his bad decisions on drilling on federal land and waters, which would have restored American energy independence and maybe even made the U.S. an exporter of energy again. Those would be moves he could just throw the word out he was doing and would have brought energy prices down at least somewhat, minus the cost of Fed-generated inflation, given the importance of the futures market to energy trading. Instead, he's gone begging the Saudis and Venezuelans to pump more oil for him and released about half the Strategic Petroleum Reserves, using it as an open-market mechanism to blunt the effect his bad policies rather than for the emergencies it's intended to address. None of this has brought down the price of oil.
Now we learn that a huge chunk of this oil has gone abroad — to Europe, which, like the grasshopper that never bothered to save for a rainy day, what with Putin on the march demanding to be paid in rubles for his oil and natural gas, has left the continent short. Putin's doing great on the price of petroleum, having lots of markets to sell to if Europe won't buy from him, and the Russian ruble has strengthened. Worse still, a lot of this SPR release has gone to Asia, particularly China, which isn't using it to fuel gas stations.
According to Reuters, which broke the story, it's some 5 million barrels in just the last month alone, arriving at China's Pacific ports.
HOUSTON, July 5 (Reuters) — More than 5 million barrels of oil that were part of a historic U.S. emergency reserves release to lower domestic fuel prices were exported to Europe and Asia last month, according to data and sources, even as U.S. gasoline and diesel prices hit record highs.
The export of crude and fuel is blunting the impact of the moves by U.S. President Joe Biden to lower record pump prices. Biden on Saturday renewed a call for gasoline suppliers to cut their prices, drawing criticism from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos.
The Daily Mail explains how this can be happening:
Biden's announcement about releasing the oil barrels was made in April, and saw him say: 'These releases will put more than one million barrels per day on the market over the next six months, and will help address supply disruptions caused by Putin's further invasion of Ukraine and the Price Hike that Americans are facing at the pump.'
But it has had little effect, with a closer look at the press release revealing that the oil released from the strategic reserve was always destined for the highest bidder - even if they were overseas.
That is due to strict international rules dictating the sale and supply of oil - although a regular American who listened to Biden's proclamation in passing would likely have believed that the increase in supply would have been destined for domestic refineries, to lower US prices.
You can bet that Biden didn't plan for that when he decided to shift the purpose of the SPR from "emergencies only" to his open-market mechanism, without shutting the prospect of oil going abroad down first. This problem wouldn't happen at all if there were an actual emergency with a need to aid America first.
The American Energy Alliance points out that it's actually worse than it looks. China isn't even using the oil; it's stockpiling it for its own strategic petroleum reserves, meaning the U.S. oil taken off the market is not helping to lower the price of crude even on a worldwide basis.
China has also refused to play Biden's game. Biden thought he had coordinated a global effort to release more than 1 million barrels per day of strategic oil reserves in order to reduce gasoline and diesel prices since he expected those reserves to be refined and sold to consumers. However, for every barrel of reserve the President has sold, China has taken a barrel off the global market, adding it to Chinese stockpiles. China's stockpiling eliminated any benefit to U.S. consumers from the SPR release, instead reducing U.S. energy security while strengthening China's energy security.
Our SPR energy is being drained by the Chicoms to fill their SPR, and the group notes that China is hoping to clean up on expanding refinery capacity, too, as Biden stymies America's. China, unlike Biden, always plans ahead.
The whole disaster is Biden-made, and all we are getting out of it is the same high fuel prices, a lost stockpile of energy intended for emergencies, and the beefing up of the reserves of our competitors and enemies.
This is incompetence in the extreme. Biden's got to be made to pay politically for this.
Image: PxHere, CC0 public domain.