Commonwealth Policy Center

Pres. Biden is upset about rising gas prices. His solution was to write a letter to oil company executives and demand they lower prices. He said in his letter on White House letterhead, “Your companies need to work with my Administration to bring forward concrete, near-term solutions that address the crisis and respect the critical equities of energy workers and fence-line communities.” Of course that’s nonsense. This is a free country, and the companies aren’t required to do any such thing. Oil prices are determined by market forces and government regulations–including those that have reduced refining capacity. In fact, the last oil refinery was built in 1976—largely because of the red tape. If Pres. Biden wanted to do something he could begin by reducing red tape that has bottlenecked oil refining.