Senator Joe Manchin (D-WV) is out there asking the important questions while the rest of his party is still busy trying to deflect about their part in causing the energy crisis, or trying to come up with solutions that don’t actually address the root cause of the crisis.
The Biden administration and the Democrat Party have vacillated at times between blaming “Big Oil” and its “corporate greed” for a lack of production, and Russian President Vladimir Putin for oil prices that have risen 52.5% over the previous year prior to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and 75.4% when counting from Joe Biden’s inauguration and his Executive Order 13990 adding all sorts of red tape for the oil and gas industry.
Punchbowl News reports that the political damage from energy inflation has prompted Democrats to consider several different strategies for the upcoming midterms, none of which appear to be coherent. The outlet reported:
There’s the gas-tax holiday. This has been something that the White House has weighed in recent weeks. A group of vulnerable Senate Democrats floated this proposal several weeks ago, as have their House counterparts. Several Democratic governors are also pushing for this option.
But House Democratic leaders have gotten pushback from their rank and file and GOP colleagues about starving infrastructure of its main funding source just months after Congress passed a $1 trillion public works bill.
That’s definitely one consideration, but it’s not the only one. A gas-tax holiday wouldn’t actually address the causes of the rising cost of gas/diesel.
If they did institute a gas-tax holiday, it might actually spur more demand, which would then raise the price again as supply is still a major issue. It would then become a game of “chase the dragon” within a short period of time, and the expiration of the holiday would provide yet another price shock to American consumers.
Of course, that’s still better than the other two options, which Punchbowl News also reported on:
Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Ore.), chair of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, sounds like he would rather implement a “windfall profits” tax on the oil industry than a gas tax holiday. DeFazio believes oil companies would just pocket any tax rollback instead of passing it onto consumers. Here’s DeFazio:
“Do my colleagues really think the oil companies are gonna say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll give ‘em the 18.4 cents per gallon at the pump?’ The distributors will say, ‘Oh yeah, we’ll give them 18 cents?’ And the retailers, who are always on the edge?”
Hot Air best explains the stupidity of DeFazio’s statement, writing:
In the first place, the tax takes place at the point of retail sale. Retailers collect it, not the suppliers. It’s taxed per gallon dispensed, not supplied. But even if that weren’t the case, why wouldn’t oil companies also pass along the cost of any “windfall profits” tax along to its consumers? That doesn’t even address the idea that oil companies make “windfall profits” in the first place, especially in terms of profit/loss balance sheets and margins. According to an analysis at CSI Markets, the average net profit margin for oil and gas producers was 4.94% in the fourth quarter of 2021 — decent but hardly “windfall.”
Other Democrats have proposed even more ridiculous options:
- Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.) has been working on legislation that would offer Americans a rebate, offset by leveling tariffs on countries that still buy Russian oil.
- The leadership has also heard arguments about sending Americans direct payments for gas. Some Democrats on the influential Ways and Means Committee prefer this method. And it’s under consideration in some states, including California.
In essence, some Democrats want to create more inflation… to offset inflation.
It appears no one has been paying attention to Larry Summers, even after his dire warnings about the American Rescue Plan turned out to be entirely prophetic.
Joe Manchin is speaking out, wondering why his fellow Democrats assume that American oil and gas producers are the problem. Manchin suggests asking them for their input prior to tossing around such accusations.
“I want to find out. Let’s get the facts rather than start blaming because prices are high and it’s their fault,” he said.
Asked Manchin, who chairs Senate Energy, about Dems accusing oil companies of price gouging. He said Dems shouldn’t rush to blame oil companies without investigating.
“I want to find out. Let’s get the facts rather than start blaming because prices are high and it’s their fault”
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 17, 2022
“The bottom line is a global market,” Manchin continued. “If they’re at fault, and they’re gouging… we’ll go back and hit them as hard as we can.”
“But if it’s not, let’s know exactly how this process works. So we’re not blaming people that we’re expecting to produce the energy for us and make us energy independent, and help our allies around the world and here we are, beating the living crap out of them,” he added.
“But if it’s not let’s know exactly how this process works. So we’re not blaming people that were expecting to produce the energy for us and make us energy independent, and help our allies around the world and here we are, beating the living crap out of them,” the WV Dem said
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) March 17, 2022
A day earlier, Senator Manchin had argued that North America needs energy self-sufficiency and net export capability now. We need to be Europe’s alternative to Russia and Iran for strategic reasons, while we “walk and chew gum at the same time” on alternate-energy development.
WATCH: We can walk and chew gum at the same time. We can produce the cleanest energy from fossil fuels while developing the technology we need for the future. If we can’t supply our European allies with the energy they need before next winter, we have big problems coming. pic.twitter.com/0Z5MzY2MyF
— Senator Joe Manchin (@Sen_JoeManchin) March 16, 2022
Hot Air also reported:
Manchin earlier argued that Biden should rescind his EO 13990 and eliminate all the red tape Biden erected to exploration and drilling. That certainly would send a big price signal to futures markets, and a resulting surge of production would amplify it, to the benefit of consumers and America’s strategic positioning against Iran and Russia. Biden remains, however, in thrall of the radical climate-change lobby, which means gas prices will continue to rise and Biden et al will continue to attempt to evade responsibility for it. And Democrats will pay a very large price for gas in November.
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Author: Staff Writer
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