Ben Shapiro: America’s suicidal energy policy has very real costs

Op-ed views and opinions expressed are solely those of the author.

Last week, Saudi Arabia announced, in conjunction with OPEC+, that it would be cutting oil production in the face of dropping prices. That decision came in spite of the Biden White House’s lobbying in favor of increased production, which included a sycophantic visit by President Joe Biden to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In response to the Saudi announcement, the White House quickly announced that the United States would be reevaluating its relationship with the Kingdom.

Meanwhile, the White House announced that it would be “preparing to scale down sanctions” on Venezuela’s tyrannical regime, according to The Wall Street Journal. The goal: increased oil production from the Marxist dictatorship via loosened restrictions on pumping for Chevron. The White House continues to keep channels open with the Iranian mullahs as well, soliciting concessions from the same regime that shoots women in the streets for failing to properly wear Islamic head coverings.

There is an obvious question to be asked in the face of this random and chaotic non-strategy: Why, precisely, doesn’t the Biden administration just ramp up energy production by unleashing the power of America’s oil industry? After all, America is still the world’s leading supplier of oil and natural gas. And we have billions of dollars in investment sitting on the sidelines; refineries have been dropping offline and energy companies transitioning away from the precise forms of fuel that actually power the globe.

The answer is just as obvious: This administration is far more tied to its ideological predilections than to reality. Actually, reality actively angers this administration: when it fosters a foolish policy and predictably dire results follow, the administration’s response is pique at that cause-and-effect relationship. This administration pursues green energy boondoggles while begging for energy from America’s foes, watches those foes hold Europe hostage in the midst of a potential nuclear standoff — and then, of course, yells about how cruel our foes are for cutting off energy supplies to our allies. This is both unproductive and geopolitically imbecilic.

But at least it makes the leaders of the free world feel warm and fuzzy inside. And if America’s enemies gain comparative power, at least we’ll have the comfort of snootily lecturing those enemies on the certainty of their political isolation; as State Department Senior Advisor for Energy Security Amos Hochstein recently stated, “low income countries have seen that Saudi Arabia and Russia are colluding against them.”

Odd, then, that low-income countries are disproportionately siding with Russia and Saudi Arabia. Perhaps that has something to do with the continued dedication of wealthy westerners to the proposition that the most effective energy policy for rising from poverty ought to be phased out — that the ladder to prosperity ought to be pulled up behind rich European nations in the name of sophistry spouted by Swedish teenagers who specialize in cross-generational derisive contempt.

The West has surrendered wise policy — or even simply non-suicidal policy — in favor of allegiance to pipe dreams. Then we wonder just why reality seems to keep collapsing in on us like an abandoned house.

Ben Shapiro, 38, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, host of “The Ben Shapiro Show,” and Editor-in-Chief of DailyWire.com. He is a three-time New York Times bestselling author; his latest book is “The Authoritarian Moment: How The Left Weaponized America’s Institutions Against Dissent.”

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