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Biden admin mulls another pipeline shut down. Does his energy secretary think ‘that’s hilarious,’ too?

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(Video: CNN)

With gas prices continuing to climb in the United States and winter all but upon us, many families are concerned about being able to afford to heat their homes. But they should prepare themselves for great disappointment if they look to the Biden administration for any hope of relief.

While Americans struggle to fill their tanks in an economy marred by inflation and supply chain issues, the administration is reportedly looking at the possibility of shutting down another oil pipeline — one of President Joe Biden’s early actions was to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline. Now Line 5, located in Michigan, is being targeted.

The White House is reportedly weighing the potential market consequences of shutting down Line 5 in the state, Fox News reported, citing a source who spoke with Politico. The line is part of a network that transports about 540,000 barrels of crude oil and other petroleum products from western Canada, with petroleum taken from the pipeline in Escanaba, Michigan, according to the article.

The news may better explain why U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm threw her head back in laughter last week during an appearance on Bloomberg Surveillance when asked about a plan to increase oil production at home in the face of steadily rising gas prices,

“Oh, that is hilarious,” Granholm replied. “Would that I had the magic wand on this.”

The Biden administration official then made it clear that they were bowing to their OPEC masters: “As you know, of course, oil is a global market. It is controlled by a cartel. That cartel is called OPEC and they made the decision yesterday that they were not going to increase beyond what they were already planning.”

Granholm appeared Sunday on CNN and flat out said Americans should expect to pay higher prices to heat their homes this winter.

“Yeah, this is going to happen,” she told CNN host Dana Bash. “It will be more expensive this year than last year.”

Noting that the average price of gas is now $3.42 a gallon and Bank of America predicting crude oil prices could soar another 50% by next June, Bash asked the Energy secretary if paying $4 a gallon is on the horizon and she again said it was largely in the hands of OPEC.

“Well, we certainly hope not,” Granholm replied. “As I say, the Energy Information Agency is going to put out their forecast this week. The president is all over this, of course, every president is frustrated because they can’t control the price of gasoline because it’s a global market. He can call upon increased supply which he has done and OPEC is, unfortunately, controlling the agenda with respect to oil prices.”

She would add that Biden has as a tool the strategic petroleum reserve and may look to that as a solution.

That’s when Bash asked if Americans should expect to pay more to heat their homes and Granholm not only answered in the affirmative, she also tried to blame oil and gas companies while plugging “clean energy” — it’s no secret that those who oppose fossil fuels see skyrocketing oil prices as a boon to their cause.

“We are in a slightly beneficial position, certainly relative to Europe, because their chokehold of natural gas is very significant. They’ll pay five times higher. But we have the same problem in fuels that the supply chains have, which is that the oil and gas companies are not flipping the switch as quickly as the demand requires,” she said.

“So that’s why the president has been focused on both the immediate term and the long-term,” Granholm continued. “Let us get off of the volatility associated with fossil fuels and associated with others who don’t have our country’s interests at heart and invest in moving to clean energy where we will not have this problem and that’s so much of what the two bills are focused on.”

Keep in mind, just 18 months ago, when former President Donald Trump was in office, pump prices were hitting record lows. In April 2020, oil prices cratered to $3.32 a barrel as Saudi Arabia and Russia refused to curb oil production, Reuters reported, citing AAA to say consumers were paying “the lowest prices at the pump in nearly 30 years, with gas declining to a national average of $1.77 a gallon.”

Trump often touted that the U.S. had become energy independent on his watch and the Energy Information Administration confirmed as much earlier this year: “The United States became a net total energy exporter in 2019 for the first time since 1952 and maintained that position in 2020 even though both total energy production and consumption were lower in 2020 than in 2019.”

Tom Tillison

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