Honesty in politics is nearly non-existent, but voters willingness to accept this dishonesty as fact is alive and well. Take gasoline prices as an example. It’s Biden’s fault, it’s the oil companies fault, right? Nope‼️
We seem to look for easy answers that fit with out political views and the facts be damned. We see it not only with gas prices, but healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, any number of issues.
Where is Joe Friday when you need him? “Just the facts, ma’am.”
Members of Congress from both parties are politicizing and spreading bad information on the energy crisis resulting from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Given the acrimony in U.S. politics today, this isn’t surprising, but misinformation on the real cause of high gasoline prices is a disservice to U.S. citizens. Democrats blame the oil and gas industry and Republicans blame President Joe Biden, but global market forces are the real culprit. Better understanding of the energy system, among policymakers and ordinary people, is crucial as the United States and world strive to transition to a system with net-zero greenhouse gas emissions.
Rising U.S. gasoline prices are the result of global oil market conditions.
Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. summarized the majority Democrats’ position when he accused the oil companies of “ripping off the American people” and “at a time of record profits… refusing to increase production.” But oil is a globally fungible good with a price set on the global market.
None of the U.S. oil companies is large enough to have much influence on these prices. Furthermore, these companies make production decisions based on business criteria, including expected future prices, availability of capital, and the company’s appetite for risk. Since the U.S. companies cannot influence the global oil price, whether the new production will reduce prices is not one of these criteria.