Policy change would quash oil and gas production, environmentalists argue
President Joe Biden’s 2024 budget would eliminate tax breaks for the fossil fuel industry, a move that environmental groups say would cripple oil and gas production in the United States.
The provision comes as U.S. families recover from months of record-high gas prices under Biden. The average price for a gallon of gas in the United States last summer exceeded $5 for the first time in history, and while that number has since dropped to $3.47, the national gas average was just $2.39 when Biden took office.
Biden responded to those sky-high prices by urging oil and gas companies to increase production. Ending fossil fuel tax breaks, however, would force those companies to do the opposite, environmental groups have long argued. Greenpeace—a left-wing group working to “address the climate crisis” and transform America’s “racist” economy—said in 2021 that the elimination of just one oil and gas tax break “would reduce new oil drilling by 25 percent.” Such a dip in supply would prompt higher gas prices, Biden asserted last year. “If we want lower gas prices, we need to have more oil supply right now,” the Democrat said.
Biden touted his budget in a series of Thursday tweets, calling it a “blue-collar blueprint” that would “make our economy work for the middle class again.” But the oil and gas extraction industry employs nearly 150,000 Americans—jobs that are some of the highest-paid blue-collar positions in the country.
The White House did not return a request for comment.
Biden’s push to eliminate oil and gas tax breaks marks the second time this week alone that the Democrat’s administration has targeted the fossil fuel industry. Biden’s Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday proposed a rule that could force coal plants to close—just months earlier, the White House walked back comments from Biden pledging to shut down coal plants “all across America.”
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