In addition to the points made in these reports that increasing domestic fossil fuel production would not help Americans if Russia decided not to source its supplies from the world market, the idea of ”independence energy” often suggested by proponents of increased domestic production is a complete myth. Even when the United States became a net oil exporter in 2020, it still imported almost as much as it produced. Statistics from the United States Energy Information Administration (EIA) show that while the United States exported approximately 8.5 million barrels of oil per day in 2020 – which includes crude oil, gasoline and d other fossil fuel products – they still imported almost the equivalent amount, 7.86 million barrels per day. Fossil fuels from Russia accounted for almost 7% of US imports that year.
These reports also falsely claim that US fossil fuel production has declined under the Biden administration. Elnashar cited “critics” to say Biden had “discouraged domestic oil and natural gas production.” Frazao did the same, saying Biden was “limiting drilling here at home.”
In fact, US fossil fuel production grew 2% in 2021, and the EIA “expects US fossil fuel production to reach new highs in 2023.” Although the Biden administration suspended fossil fuel drilling leases in early 2021 — almost none of which were tendered — they resumed due to a court order later in the year. ‘year. And as the Washington Post reported, “Biden has overtaken Donald Trump in issuing drilling permits on public lands.” Claims by these Sinclair correspondents that Biden has limited fossil fuel production in the United States are a fantasy.
There is also the very real fact that due to soaring profits, drilling companies in the United States are not heeding calls to increase production, likely because scarcity allows them to keep prices high. The Guardian reported that the biggest oil companies made $174 billion in profits last year, while drillers deliberately cut production.
Unsurprisingly, the reports also ignore another major reason why fossil fuel production should not be increased: climate change. In addition to the myriad ways climate change is already harming and killing people and threatening US national security, it also harms energy production in myriad ways. The 2021 deep freeze in Texas nearly halved natural gas production, and later that year Hurricane Ida crippled fossil fuel production in the Gulf of Mexico for an extended period.
The greater the production of fossil fuels, the worse all of these problems will become. Yet Sinclair chose to omit those facts in favor of fabricated concerns that Biden would cut fossil fuel production. And Sinclair’s promotion of pro-fossil fuel propaganda is nothing new.