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Donations from Vox, Biden to Russian oil made high gas prices and war in Ukraine possible

In a feature story for why oil and gas prices, along with inflation, are about to go much higher, Vox tells readers that it’s all the Russians’ fault [1] while forgetting that our energy problems started a long time before Russian President Vladimir Putin was preparing to invade Ukraine. 

“President Joe Biden has promised to try to protect Americans from a spike in gas prices, but his options are limited, if there are any at all,” Vox reported about the Russian invasion’s effect on prices at the pump. 

It’s reminiscent of then-President Barack Obama’s promise that America couldn’t drill its way out of high energy prices [2] just before private industry did just that and made the U.S. an energy-exporting nation while driving down energy prices.  

The central problem, then, as now, is that the Democrats developed a case of fossil fuel derangement syndrome a long time before they developed Palin derangement syndrome or Trump derangement syndrome. 

They just hate oil and gas to the extent that logic goes out the window for progressives when the topic is discussed at publications like Vox.  

The party that bills itself as caring about the working people of America, would, in fact, rather that working people pay more for energy, a price they can least likely to afford, than allow oil companies to produce more oil and gas here at home, even if it means financing Russia’s war. 

Last June, a federal judge ordered the Biden administration to restart selling oil and gas leases after “[t]he president and his aides had moved swiftly to curb oil and gas development in the past six month, rescinding a permit for the Keystone XL pipeline and suspending drilling leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge,” said the Washington Post [3]. 

Critics then accused the Biden administration of “slow-walking” compliance [4] with the judge’s order so as to delay the sale of new leases as long as possible, while the administration also appealed the decision, causing more delays.

“This action will do nothing to alleviate building pressure on energy prices that have increased under growing energy supply concerns,” warned David Dismukes, executive director of LSU’s Center for Energy Studies in August, according to the Advocate.com [5]. 

He was right. Oil prices in August were around $65 per barrel [6] and about to surge upward. 

The demand and production numbers really tell the story. 

Reuters recently reported [7] that “overall world consumption potentially could hit a new record in 2022 – despite efforts to bring down fossil fuel consumption to mitigate climate change,” as Biden has tried to do, even as demand this year has outstripped supply. 

It’s notable that the last year that saw record demand, 2019, the average closing price for West Texas Intermediate (WTI) was $56.99 per barrel [6], while today WTI stands at $99 [8] on much less demand. 

Yet, even with increasing demand and high prices, US oil output has only slowly recovered after hitting records just before the pandemic with WTI prices making a high of $63 in 2020 while US oil exports also marked a record high [9].  

  

Source: https://www.macrotrends.net/2562/us-crude-oil-production-historical-chart [10]

Now it seems, however, that everyone but Americans is getting rich off of oil production, especially the Russians, who, not coincidentally have used this oil largess– produced in part by Joe Biden’s war on oil– to help finance the invasion of Ukraine. 

That’s because American oil and gas companies are reluctant to make long-term investments in energy production if the administration will continue to block their efforts to produce oil and gas. 

“We produce energy cleaner than anybody in the world,” said Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) in complaining the administration needs to stop blocking energy production, according to Bloomberg [11]. 

“We’re buying 650,000 barrels a day from Russia. It’s ridiculous. Totally ridiculous,” Manchin said.

And that’s how Russia is financing the war. 

“The oil and gas revenue contributed approximately 9.06 trillion Russian rubles to the federal budget of Russia in 2021, up 73 percent from the previous year. That was the highest figure over the observed period,” said Statista [12], which makes oil and gas revenues responsible for the budget surplus that allowed Russia to invade Ukraine [13]. 

Manchin is right: It is ridiculous. Totally ridiculous, mostly because progressives like Vox want readers to think it’s all serendipity when in fact, the war in Ukraine, high gas prices, and the struggling Americans who have to pay for it all are just intersections in policies that Vox has advocated [14] and Biden has implemented. 

So when you are filing up at the pump or buying something that’s more expensive because of increased energy costs, don’t blame the Russians, as Vox would have you do. 

Blame Vox and Joe Biden, Russia’s sponsors in the White House, whose generous donation on behalf of America’s working class, made high gas prices — and the war in Ukraine — possible.