Please disable your Ad Blocker to better interact with this website.

Jannah Theme License is not validated, Go to the theme options page to validate the license, You need a single license for each domain name.

Commentary: Joe Biden’s ‘Transition Away From the Oil Industry’ Is Strangling America’s Economy

Will this presidential election be the most important in American history?

Commentary by Levi A. Russell, PhD originally published by

The root causes of the economic upheaval most Americans are experiencing right now are the subject of much discussion lately. Is it the Russia-Ukraine conflict? Is it Biden’s closing of the Keystone XL pipeline? Is it the absurd energy policies of the EU? Certainly there is plenty of blame to go around, but the reality is that all of this started in October of 2020. Back then, Trump and Biden were going head to head in debates leading up to the November election. Biden famously stated “I would transition away from the oil industry.”

That statement was a clear signal to energy producers in this country that Biden’s eventual ascent to the presidency would bring unprecedented uncertainty for at least the next four years. Never willing to let a crisis go to waste, the Biden administration went straight to work dismantling the future of our oil and gas refining capacity. His statement in October of 2020 made it clear that his administration would use the massive increase in government control precipitated by the pandemic to massively curtail energy production not in the distant future, but here and now.

Though oil production has rebounded to some extent from the demand-driven crash in 2020, refining and drilling are still well below pre-pandemic levels. The regulatory uncertainty imposed on traditional energy production is simply too great. Biden can complain that these companies aren’t throwing money away to save his poll numbers, but a lifetime politician like him is in no place to criticize those who provide essential goods and services to the American public. Biden’s insistence that his policies have no role in the pain Americans feel right now should fall on deaf ears.

So just how severe is this pain? Carl Quintanilla of CNBC’s “Squawk on the Street” shared this graph in a tweet on March 8th in an apparent attempt to put a damper on concerns about gasoline prices. Quintanilla states that the graph represents “gasoline costs, as consumer’s share of wallet” but that’s not entirely correct. For one, the graph clearly states that it takes account of other energy products and that it is computed as a share of “all consumer spending.”

His intended point is obvious enough: Americans shouldn’t complain about high gas prices because, as a share of total spending, gasoline is very low by historical standards. Quintanilla’s comment sounds like the author of the graph added up all the money spent on the various things we buy and compared the dollars spent on fuel to the total. That’s not the case.

See chart.

A much better representation of the impact on Americans’ wallets would include information about the astronomical inflation we’ve seen in other essential products Americans buy. It would also have a concrete measure of the “wallet” Quintanilla mentions.

The graph below uses data on average production and non-supervisory hourly wages over the past ten years as a baseline gross monthly income. The most recent data available indicates that the average wage for such workers is $26.94 per hour. I assumed that the household drove about 250 miles a week in a car with 20 miles per gallon average fuel efficiency. The blue line shows monthly gasoline expense based on these assumptions using data on conventional gasoline prices. So without regard to income and other expenses Americans have to cover, we are paying about the same now as we were during the high gas price era of Obama’s second term: just under $200 per month.

See chart.

But what about the total household budget? Haven’t wages risen over the past ten years, making the increased expense less onerous? Production and non-supervisory wages have risen steadily from 2012 to 2022 to the tune of about 3.75% per year. Dividing the monthly gasoline expense by gross monthly income, we get the red line. During the Trump administration, gasoline as a share of income was right around 3.25% of the budget, according to my simple calculations. In 2021, it began to rise again and currently sits as high as it has been for the past 6 years.

Those who are sympathetic to Quintanilla’s point might say that we have validated the graph in his tweet, that American’s aren’t as bad off as many claim. However, this analysis misses the rising cost of nearly everything else in Americans’ household budgets. Starting in mid-2021, prices of staple goods began to skyrocket. The most recent report shows that, compared to this time last year, food and beverage prices rose 7.6%, durable goods prices (such as appliances and cars) rose 18.7%, and overall energy prices rose 25.6%.

Inflation is too much money chasing too few goods. While the Federal Reserve contemplates decreases in the money supply to deal with the money component, the Biden administration’s regulatory chaos continues to restrict our ability to produce the things Americans need. Blaming inflation on the Ukraine-Russia conflict, which is also partly his fault, does nothing to alleviate the stranglehold Biden has on our economy.

Levi A. Russell, PhD, is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the School of Business at the University of Kansas.

Deneen Borelli

Deneen Borelli is the author of Blacklash: How Obama and the Left are Driving Americans to the Government Plantation. Deneen is a contributor with Newsmax Broadcasting. She is a former Fox News contributor and has appeared regularly on “Hannity,” “Fox & Friends,” “Your World with Neil Cavuto,” and “America’s Newsroom.” She has also appeared on Fox Business Network programs “Making Money with Charles Payne,” “The Evening Edit with Liz MacDonald,” and “Cavuto: Coast to Coast.” Previously, Deneen appeared on MSNBC, CNN, the BBC and C-SPAN. In addition to television, Deneen co-hosted radio programs on the SiriusXM Patriot channel with her husband Tom. Recently, Deneen co-hosted the Reigniting Liberty podcast with Tom. Deneen is a frequent speaker at political events, including the FreedomWorks 9.12.2009 March on D.C. which drew a crowd estimated at over 800,000 people. Deneen is also an Ambassador with, a social media platform that promotes free speech, and with the America First Policy Institute (AFPI) which advances policies that put Americans first. Deneen testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Natural Resources in May 2011 and before the Ohio House Public Utilities Committee in December 2011. Previously, Deneen was a host, Outreach Director with overseeing its outreach program, a Project 21 Senior Fellow, and Manager of Media Relations with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). Prior to joining CORE, Deneen worked at Philip Morris USA for 20 years. During her corporate career at Philip Morris she worked in various positions, her last as Project Management Coordinator in the Information Management department where she was responsible for the department’s mandated quality processes, communications, sales information and database management. Deneen began her Philip Morris career as a secretary and advanced to positions of increasing responsibilities. Deneen worked full-time and attended classes at night for 11 years to earn her B.A. in Managerial Marketing from Pace University, New York City. Deneen served on the Board of Trustees with The Opportunity Charter School in Harlem, New York. She appeared in educational videos for children, worked as a runway fashion model, and auditioned for television commercials. Her interests include ancient history, pistol target shooting, photography, and volunteering at her church. Deneen currently resides in Connecticut with her husband Tom.

Related Articles