Vote to keep Biden’s hands off of U.S. energy policy

By World Oil staff on 11/2/2020

As the U.S. presidential election cycle nears its final chapter on Tuesday, and Tuesday evening, we at World Oil think it’s appropriate to remind our fellow professionals in the U.S. oil and gas industry what is at stake. And we also implore those of you, who have not voted yet, to get out and vote on Tuesday, for the sake of the nation, and for the sake of the industry.

Seldom do we find ourselves in the U.S. industry with such a clear-cut choice between good and bad, but that’s exactly what we face this year. As an advocate for this industry, World Oil would be remiss in not taking a formal stand. We urge you to NOT vote for former Vice President Joe Biden.

The laundry list. In case you need to be reminded, here is a long list of reasons to NOT vote for Biden:

  • Biden will eliminate the U.S. oil and gas industry. He admitted this in the final Presidential debate on Oct. 22.
  • Biden will ban hydraulic fracturing (fracing), no matter what he says now to avoid losing votes. The first place where he will implement this ban is on federal lands.
  • Biden will work to eliminate the granting of oil and gas leases on federal lands.
  • Biden will eliminate the use of natural gas for electricity generation.
  • Biden’s policies will cause electricity costs to consumers to rise to sky-high levels.
  • Biden’s policies, which will bring an overreliance on wind- and solar-generated electricity will cause an ever-growing risk of rolling blackouts, similar to what California residents already endure.
  • Biden will impose a punitive carbon tax, as a means of discouraging use of oil and natural gas.
  • Biden will work to eliminate decades-long tax breaks for the upstream industry, which are essential to a healthy exploration, drilling and production sector. These breaks include a) Intangible drilling costs; b) Tangible drilling costs; c) Active income write-offs from net losses associated with wellhead production; d) The Depletion Allowance, available to the many thousands of small oil and gas operators throughout the U.S.; e) Various lease costs; and f) The exemption of intangible drilling costs from the alternative minimum tax.
  • Biden will encourage state and local authorities to pass deleterious measures, to reduce development opportunities by increasing set-backs even farther near schools and homes, or to ban all oil and gas activity within specific municipalities.
  • Biden will raise gasoline taxes across the U.S. and could potentially withhold federal highway funds as a weapon against any state that fails to achieve certain levels of renewables production and usage.
  • Biden’s policies will raise gasoline prices at the pump. Continental Resources Chairman Harold Hamm says that prices will hit $6/gallon. Even if it only hits $5, that’s too much.
  • Biden will work to revoke leasing plans for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
  • Biden will work to permanently ban offshore drilling along the Pacific, Atlantic and western Florida coasts.  
  • Last, but not least, Biden has shown a propensity to play fast and loose with the truth. You need no more evidence of this than the situation concerning his stand on fracing. For several years, whenever asked about the subject, Biden said that he would ban fracing. Yet, late this summer and into early fall, Biden suddenly maintained that he had never said that he would ban fracing, even though there are a number of video clips of him saying that he would. The man just can’t be trusted.

Our role as advocator. There are a few folks in the industry that think World Oil should not delve into politics with its monthly issues or on its website. But that attitude ignores the mission of World Oil to be an “advocate” for what is good for the E&P industry, and that includes what is good, and bad, in government regulation. Furthermore, World Oil has a rich history of commenting on Presidential elections.

Poking Truman. For instance, in the October 1948 issue, Founder, President and Publisher Ray Dudley remarked, “Not even in the hey-day of the New Deal, when the ownership of property was hailed by many as a badge of shame, did public utterances by the chief executive sink to the depths of demagoguery, which Harry Truman plunged them to on his recent trip across the nation. Nor was this the first time, when he sought to gain a dubious advantage by attempting to stir up hatred amongst peoples.”

And Dudley went on to comment about the Texas race for U.S. Senator that fall, when he came out in favor of Republican candidate Jack Porter, and denounced the Democratic run-off between Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson and former Governor Coke Stevenson. In that run-off, Johnson and his campaign staff were accused of stealing the nomination through various forms of voter fraud. Nevertheless, Johnson won the run-off, went on to beat Porter, and became John F. Kennedy’s Vice President in 1961 before ascending to the Presidency in 1963.

Calling out Carter. In the November 1976 issue, just after Democrat Jimmy Carter was elected in November, Editor Robert W. Scott remarked that “On the subject of energy, the President-elect did make some statements during the campaign, which were similar enough to those espoused by the Socialist majority of the present Congress to scare the bejabbers out of knowledgeable industry people.” He continued, “Now, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that the President-elect’s campaign statements on [energy issues]—as well as the generally anti-oil Democrat platform—are about 180 degrees out of phase with reality…..”

The empty choice of G.H.W. Bush and Michael Dukakis. In the 1988 Presidential election, Republican George H. W. Bush sought to continue Ronald Reagan’s policies while running against Democrat Michael Dukakis. In his October 1988 column page, Scott, at this point editorial director, let both candidates have it. “Next month, the U.S. will choose a new leader we will all have to live with for at least four years,” he began. “So far, the campaigns of both candidates and their seconds have been about as informative as going down to the deli and watching the meat slicer run or listening to learned debates at the local beer joint on who will win the Superbowl this year. When it comes to substance, the slogan, ‘Our wimp can beat your shrimp’ is about as good as it’s gotten, up to this writing.” Farther along, he added, “Unfortunately, we’re all probably going to stay unhappy regardless of who wins.”

Another empty choice of Bush and Clinton. Again, in October 1992, Scott remarked, “With U.S. elections coming up next month, it is instructive that neither of the candidates (George H. W. Bush or Democrat Bill Clinton) appear to have learned anything from history, indicated by their electioneering propaganda.” And Editor Russell Wright chimed in, “Alas, we may have to depend on those ‘gridlockers’ in Congress, such as Senators Bentsen (D-Texas), Johnston (D-La.) and Boren (D-Okla.) for any consideration of what ails the E&P business. So, what else is new?”

Gore’s early inconvenient remarks. Finally, in October 2000, Wright, who had risen to Publisher of World Oil, noted that “While campaigning in New Orleans, La., Democratic presidential candidate Al Gore abandoned his typical anti-oil position in favor of one that would actually help portions of the industry. And surprise, surprise, he even proposed tax incentives that would encourage offshore drilling. Trouble is, he was only referring to the portions of the Gulf of Mexico, where drilling is, and has been, underway for many years.” Further on, Wright continued, “What we want to know is whether candidate Gore will repeat these pearls of wisdom as he campaigns in places, such as Florida and California, where potential offshore resources have been placed off-limits…We doubt it, and we’ll bet the farm that he won’t propose opening up those areas, either.

Suffice to say, World Oil has a rich history of advocating for the industry in the political arena, and these are just a few examples. It is a mission that we continue to shoulder and take seriously.

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