OPINION:

If you can’t afford $5 a gallon, then you can’t afford $4.82 a gallon, either (“Biden gas tax holiday faces revolt by top Democrats,” Web, June 22). This is a pathetic move from President Biden, made out of desperation. If he announced a crash program to expand U.S. production, the drop in prices would be 30 cents to 40 cents a gallon, and that would matter.

The Democrats’ ignorance of the oil market is on full display. U.S. refineries are running at 95% capacity when 88% is considered the safe limit for long-term operations. Four refineries are being barred from restarting by the Biden administration, which is delaying permits and employing other regulatory hurdles. With the other refineries straining to the limit, something bad will surely happen — and a major operation will fail, with huge shortages following. Five-dollar-a-gallon gasoline will become $6- or $7-a-gallon gasoline overnight while “Brandon” bumbles along.


This is a dangerous game, akin to playing Russian roulette with an automatic. There is no good outcome. One consequence is going to hit northerners very hard, as 60% of heating-oil stocks are built in the summer months. Not this year, they won’t be. Heating oil is being diverted to supplement diesel-fuel stocks for trucks, and it may run out in August. The result is going to be a major heating-oil shortage in January. Insider estimates show that we will enter the heating season with only 40% of the normal reserve stock of oil.

The four idle refineries would make a huge difference, but the administration does not care.

JAMES BARENDS

Wayne, Pennsylvania


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