We were pretty sure that Joe Biden’s presidency, such as it is, was going to be a disaster, but even we could not have predicted how bad it’s about to become.
On his first couple of days in office, Biden moved quickly to reverse all of President Donald Trump’s energy initiatives — policies that made our country a net exporter of gas and oil for the first time in generations.
And while fossil fuels are not the most ideal way to power an economy, right now they are the cheapest way, and besides, Trump did not dismantle many of the pages upon pages of environmental regulations that have been passed and implemented over the course of decades. In fact, while Trump boosted U.S. oil and gas production and Americans took to the roads in greater numbers while American manufacturing rebounded, greenhouse gas levels actually fell during his four years in office. That’s right; who knew that Trump would be known as ‘the environmental president,’ and yet if we had an honest media, most Americans would know this.
In fact, when the mainstream media did report this wonderful development, they couldn’t do so without some sort of negative spin while refusing to give him any credit (but they would have lavished praise on Barack Obama if the same thing had happened then).
So, why does any of this matter? Because thanks to Biden’s [lack of] energy policies, Americans in many parts of the county may just wind up suffering through a very long, cold winter, thanks to substantial declines in U.S. having oil inventories, as Yahoo! Finance reported on Monday:
Get those blankets and sweaters ready for the winter as one bad storm may send oil and natural gas prices soaring to new heights from already worrisome levels.
“The sky is the limit,” Natasha Kaneva, JPMorgan’s head of global commodities strategy, told Yahoo Finance Live, referring to the outlook for heating oil prices, if the U.S. gets hit with a bad winter. “We are dealing with theoretical prices at this point because everything is already at record high levels. We just don’t see the release valve. The only option is for demand destruction to start taking place. That’s exactly the link with oil prices. Natural gas prices are so high that consumers are switching to other sources.”
According to the most recent Energy Information Administration reports, the U.S. has only 31.2 days of the demand for heating oil, which is at the lowest levels since 2000.
Meanwhile, Suzanne Danforth, an analyst at Wood Mackenzie Ltd., told Bloomberg low stockpiles of heating oil won’t be at the level of gas shortages in Europe where prices went through the roof, but she did warn: “It’s going to be tight, very tight.”
Why the low supplies? For one, Texas refineries took a production hit earlier this year when the state suffered an unseasonable, unusual winter storm and freeze, which knocked out about 5.5 million a day of processing capabilities. At the same time, farmers are in need of more diesel fuel as harvest time rolls around, and jet fuel is being consumed at greater levels as air travel has picked up since the COVID-19 pandemic has waned.
And again, Biden’s energy policies haven’t helped: Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline (which was not yet operational) while shutting down development of new wells and gas deposits on federal lands and other parts of the country. And of course, there are shortages in Europe as well.
“We cannot even put a price on the European natural gas prices at this point,” Kaneva noted after a very crazy week for energy prices overseas.
Soon, that will be the case in the U.S. as well if inventories don’t increase to keep up with demand.