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In a Hypocritical Letter to the FTC, Biden Accuses Oil Companies of Illegal Price Gouging

Biden moans to the FTC about mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil-and-gas companies.
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Hello FTC

When All Else Fails, Moan About Oil Companies

White House Chief of Staff, Ronald Klain, posted this Tweet.

Rather than look in a mirror to see an obvious problem, Biden Asks FTC to Examine Oil, Gas Companies’ Role in High Gasoline Prices.

Biden moans "Prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up."

He then asks the FTC to "immediately" investigate whether "illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. 

Biden cites notes than "in the last month the price of unfinished gasoline is down 5% while gas at the pump is up 3%."  

Biden's Conclusion

"I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal contact."

"I therefore ask that the commission further examine what is happening with the oil and gas markets, and you bring all of the Commission's tools to bear if you uncover any wrongdoing," said Biden in the ending paragraph of his letter.

Letter Translation

Hello FTC, my polls are sagging and inflation is soaring. What can you do to help?

The WSJ noted these tidbits.  

Mr. Biden has faced criticism from environmental activists for pushing OPEC to pump more oil. The activists say that the efforts conflict with his longer-term commitment to reduce U.S. greenhouse-gas emissions and wean the country off fossil fuels. 

Mr. Biden’s letter comes after National Economic Council Director Brian Deese urged Ms. Khan in August to look into “divergences between oil prices and the cost of gasoline at the pump.”

In response, Ms. Khan said the commission would examine potential unlawful business practices in the oil and gas markets. She said she would take steps to deter unlawful mergers in the industry, “identify additional legal theories” to challenge retail fuel station mergers that allow large companies to buy family-run businesses, and investigate alleged abuses in the franchise market.

Just what we don't need from this administration: "additional legal theories".

Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall 

Is Biden really this economically illiterate or is his letter a futile political statement?

The answer, of course, is that it's both.

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For starters, prices do not act immediately. Second, Biden allows no possibility of increased refining costs.

Did the labor costs, transportation costs, insurance costs, and the cost of chemicals used in refining go up more than the unrefined input costs went down? 

Letter Deeply Hypocritical As Well 

In addition to proving his economic illiteracy, Biden's letter is deeply hypocritical.

He ought to be happy with rising prices. The faster and greater gas prices rise and stay high, the quicker consumers will be willing to purchase electric vehicles. 

But no. Biden has a clear goal of shutting down the oil and gas industry then moans about the result.

The Irony of the Day

The irony of the day on November 8, was Energy Secretary Asks OPEC to Pump More Oil

The industry's response, and a very logical one, oil was to halt exploration and capital development including drilling new wells. 

Need for a Scapegoat

Three rounds of free money stimulus (one under Trump, two under Biden), increased demands for nearly everything from chemicals to transportation costs.

Rather than blame his own inept policies, (and that of the Fed), Biden turns to the worn out tactic of blaming the industry for price gouging. 

He desperately needs a scapegoat and his letter screams of the reason to those who can properly read between the lines.

Today, Senator Joe Manchin raised fresh concerns over inflation, citing both Build Back Better and the Fed.

Biden needs to deflect attention somewhere, thus the letter to the FTC. 

For discussion, please see Manchin Raises New Inflation Concerns, Dear Joe, Just Kill It

Thanks for Tuning In!

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