Biden admin decreasing US oil supply 'under the name of climate change': Former EPA administrator
Andrew Wheeler slams Biden, Pelosi for 'trying to tax oil even more'
Andrew Wheeler, who headed the Environmental Protection Agency during the Trump administration, argued on Tuesday that the Biden administration has "done everything that they can over the last year" to decrease American production of oil and gas "under the name of climate change."
President Biden's massive $1.75 trillion "Build Back Better" plan allocates an eye-popping $550 billion for climate change projects, the backbone of the economic plan.
Last month, House Democrats passed President Biden's signature spending plan. The bill is now up for debate in the Senate where it faces opposition from Republicans and moderate Democrats, like Sen. Joe Manchin.
Wheeler told "Mornings with Maria" on Tuesday that "one thing that’s buried in the ‘Build Back Better’ plan that most people don’t realize, [is] they [Democrats] put a new tax on a barrel of oil in there, a superfund tax on a barrel of oil, at a time when Americans are concerned about rising costs of gasoline at the pump."
"The Biden administration and Nancy Pelosi are trying to tax oil even more," he argued. "It just boggles the mind the way they are approaching this."
Spokespeople for the White House and Pelosi did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
In August, the White House tried to blame OPEC and Russia for rising gas prices after the Biden administration hamstrung U.S. oil producers with policies that hampered domestic oil and gasoline production and asked for the international community to produce more oil.
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President Biden revoked the permit for the Keystone XL oil pipeline project on his first day in office in a series of orders aimed at combating climate change, which also included temporarily suspending the issuance of oil and gas permits on federal lands and waters.
Pent-up demand for oil and gas following 18 months of lockdowns, a continued preference of private car usage over mass transit and remote work potentially leading to more miles driven will keep demand strong.
At the same time, supplies will be limited by government pressure to curb capex Paris climate agreement goals, assuage demands for environmental, social, and governance investing and pressure to lower carbon emissions.
Gas prices have jumped across the nation recently, leaving only five states with prices under $3 per gallon as of Tuesday.
The national average stood at $3.35 on Tuesday, $1.19 more than the same time last year, according to AAA.
The association noted in a news release that oil prices recently dipped into the mid $60s per barrel—a price not seen since August due to concerns over the omicron on global fuel demand and the decision by OPEC and its oil-producing allies not to cut production.
However, on Tuesday, oil prices rose nearly $2 extending the previous day's almost 5% rebound as concerns over the impact of the new coronavirus variant seemed to ease.
West Texas Intermediate crude, the U.S. benchmark, was up $1.81, or 2.6%, at $71.30 on Tuesday morning, building on the previous session’s gain.
On Tuesday, Wheeler slammed President Biden for "asking OPEC to step up and deliver more oil to us instead of [increasing] U.S. production."
"U.S. Production is cheaper," he argued. "It’s here. We have the resources here in the United States, but it’s also cleaner."
Wheeler stressed that what the Biden administration is doing as it pertains to energy is "actually worse for the environment."
"They have decreased supply by decreasing permits on federal lands, taking parts of Alaska offline and they’re also increasing the price here domestically through new regulations and the threat of new regulations," he said.
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"So all of this is making production here in the U.S. more expensive and they want to ask OPEC countries to step in and produce more."
He went on to argue that the Biden administration is "worried about the short-term impact of the gas at the pump for next year’s elections, but they want U.S. consumers to pay more long-term because they want the price of energy to increase because they want Americans to use less."
"But most Americans don’t want to pay more for their gasoline. They don’t want to pay more for their home heating this winter," Wheeler stressed.
The demand for electricity in the United States is surging, which has driven natural gas prices to record highs.
The Energy Information Administration has warned that the cost of heating oil is expected to rise approximately 43% compared to last year due to "higher expected fuel costs as well as more consumption of energy due to a colder winter."
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FOX Business’ Lucas Manfredi contributed to this report.