Politicizing American Energy Is a Costly Mistake

Nick Loris wrote in Newsweek about the problems with politicizing energy production.

With gas prices creeping upwards, election-year politics are already in full effect. At a recent conference, White House senior advisor John Podesta said the Biden administration would release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) to keep prices at the pump affordable. But Podesta’s remarks come less than a week after the administration moved to block 10 million acres from developing oil and gas resources in Alaska.

There may be some political logic behind these seemingly contradictory energy policies. Moving oil from the SPR could marginally reduce gas prices before November. Restricting access in a distant place, since the oil in question wouldn’t reach the market by election time, may appease climate hawks.

Whether those decisions are good politics is debatable, but they’re certainly bad policy—across economic, environmental, and national security fronts. The SPR is for emergencies such as significant supply disruptions, wars, or severe price spikes. It is not supposed to be used to score votes come election time. Blocking energy production in Alaska and across the U.S. will curtail investment, destroy jobs, and reduce future domestic oil supplies.

Read the full article here.

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