Biden Tells OPEC to Increase Oil Production to Combat Rising Gas Prices, Despite Comments on the ‘Climate Crisis’

by Gabrielle DeSantis

Climate change is a process, but many people are already feeling its effects. Due to climate change, people must drive cars with a good fuel economy and potentially switch to EVs in the future. However, despite declaring a climate crisis, President Joe Biden ironically also called on OPEC (the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries) to increase oil production, and here’s why that’s not as ridiculous as it seems. 

The world is in a climate crisis

President Joe Biden speaking about climate change at the White House | Anna Moneymaker-Pool/Getty Images

As The Guardian wrote, the UN recently released an updated report on climate change, and it’s not good news. This report, which came from the IPCC, or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, is a stark reminder of how bad things are getting. It’s a reminder that governments worldwide need to take action now rather than kick the can down the road.

As a result of this report, President Joe Biden, on Twitter, declared that “We can’t wait to tackle the climate crisis.” And, as folks who follow politics know, that’s exactly why there’s a $3.5 trillion infrastructure bill that is being hotly debated in Congress. Much of that plan will tackle climate change, according to The Guardian. It’s extremely ironic then that President Biden told OPEC to drill more oil a few days later.

President Biden tells OPEC to increase oil production

As Jalopnik reported, not long after President Joe Biden said what he said about climate change, he also told OPEC to increase oil production. President Biden did this for a straightforward reason, as gas prices are rising. That’s happening for two reasons. First, the American economy is starting to recover from the pandemic’s effects, and that’s led to more people driving. This means that more people need gas now than they did in 2020.

Secondly, because so few people were driving in 2020, OPEC, and other countries, decided to reduce oil production. This makes sense since if fewer people and countries need oil, there’s no reason to produce as much oil. However, as Jalopnik wrote, while oil demand has risen recently, the oil supply hasn’t caught up just yet. As a result, gas prices are rising.

That said, President Biden’s mixed-messaging is ultimately logical. Poor and working-class people typically aren’t buying EVs, as they are too expensive, at least for now. As such, high gas prices will hurt poor and working-class people, as they need to drive, and high gas prices will mean they will spend more money on gas. So, until EVs become affordable for everyone, cheap oil and gas are still necessary. 

How President Biden wants to make EVs affordable

Fortunately, that’s where that infrastructure bill comes along. As The Guardian wrote, the infrastructure bill will do many things to help America fight climate change. Not only will it reduce fossil fuels from the grid, but it’ll also encourage Americans to buy EVs. The bill will provide funding to create a larger charging network, and it’ll also offer even more substantial tax credits so that EVs are more affordable.

On top of that, President Joe Biden wants to phase out gas-powered cars eventually. Additionally, that infrastructure bill will also include money for public transit options, such as trains. Taken together, if passed, these measures will make it so that poor and working-class Americans can afford EVs soon. Furthermore, if they don’t want to drive, they may also have a public transit option that’s not terrible. Either way, these measures will help everyone kick gasoline out of their lives. So, while President Biden’s messaging is confusing, the infrastructure bill would still go a long way in tackling climate change.

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