- - Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Auto owners are well aware that smooth motoring without jackrabbit starts and stops is the most efficient way to drive. The same goes for implementing national energy policy, but President Biden is demonstrating that he isn’t keen on efficiency. Decisions he has made meant to decelerate the use of fossil fuels are already costing Americans dearly, and Uncle Sam could wind up paying a heavy price as well.

Mr. Biden’s abrupt cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline has set an ominous tone for the future of affordable fuel, as well as prudent management of the nation’s finances. His attempt to ban new oil and gas leases on public lands and offshore waters are equally ill-considered.

TC Energy, the Canadian builders of the now-terminated Keystone XL, announced last week it had informed the U.S. Department of State of its intent to file a claim for “damages that it has suffered as a result of the U.S. Government’s breach of its [North American Free Trade Agreement] obligations.” The size of the claim: $15 billion.

Americans generally rally to the red, white and blue and only handle Canada’s red maple leaf with a rake. Fairness, however, says killing a project that occupied Canadians for a decade deserves compensation. The sky-high penalty should be charged to the Biden account — U.S. consumers are already shelling out at street-level from the president’s decision to drive up the cost of fossil fuels.

To wit: Independence Day holiday travelers suffered the highest gas prices in seven years. The average cost for a gallon of regular nationwide topped $3.13 — a 44 percent surge above a year ago. The rapid easing of coronavirus pandemic fears added near-record demand to holiday travel costs, but even a month ago, drivers were already paying a steep $3.05.

As a general rule, each one-cent increase in the gas price siphons around $1 billion from the pockets of U.S. consumers. Though the president promises to avoid raising taxes on the nation’s lower and middle classes, hiking their living costs results in the same sort of financial damage. Thanks a lot, Uncle Joe.

Fortunately, a separate Biden attack on the nation’s energy supply has been stymied, at least temporarily. In a case filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana, Judge Terry Doughty granted a preliminary injunction in June, blocking Mr. Biden’s Jan. 27 executive order banning new oil and gas drilling leases. He cited the impact such a prohibition would have on state and local government functions, which rely on tax revenue derived from the leases.

It is a perfidious policy that cancels the Keystone XL pipeline and attempts to block access to the nation’s fuel resources. Mr. Biden is, in effect, mumbling the rallying cry of the anti-fossil fuel left: “Leave it in the ground.” Doing so would ground the U.S. economy, and that’s a price Americans should refuse to pay.

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