Former FERC Chairman Chatterjee to Newsmax: Biden's Playing Politics on Oil Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee (AP)
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Thursday, 20 October 2022 09:18 AM EDT
President Joe Biden's plan to release 15 million more barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is "political strategy," not an energy policy, former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee tells Newsmax.
"He is trying to do anything he can to try and affect the price at the pump ahead of the midterms," Chatterjee commented on Newsmax's "Wake Up America." "By releasing these barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, he's compromising our security to shave maybe a penny of the price at the pump ahead of the midterms."
Biden on Wednesday, while announcing the release, called for U.S. oil companies to ramp up production and offered them a guaranteed price of $70 per barrel to sell oil back to the U.S. government to refill the reserves when demand falls and the price drops back down to below $70 per barrel.
Chatterjee, though, said Biden is trying to "scapegoat" not only oil companies because of the rising cost of fuel, but "anyone and everyone but his own policies."
"He is caught between an economy that is suffering, and Americans who are feeling the pain at the pump, in their grocery bills and their electricity bills, and his environmental agenda," said Chatterjee. "If he would focus on clean, American domestic energy production, not only would it help the economy, it would help the environment as well because we do it cleaner than anyone else."
Instead, he continued, "he's pursuing policies that are sending the wrong signals to investors that are inhibiting what we need to do to ramp up domestic energy production."
Chatterjee also called Biden's plan to buy oil at $70 a barrel from the oil companies "fuzzy math," considering the cost was much lower than that when former President Donald Trump was in office.
"It's playing politics," he said. "It's trying to make the case to the American people that 'hey, look, I'm doing everything I can to bring down the price at the pump.'"
Instead, Biden must send a clear signal to oil producers and the industry that they will not be under attack and weigh on their future investments because "they're sending mixed signals at a time when Americans need to see increased energy production and so do our allies overseas."
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