Publications: Notes at the Margin

Marking Fifty Years of Energy Policy Disasters: The Inherent Risk for the Global Warming Fight; Biden's Oil Market Intervention (August 16, 2021)


This report focuses primarily on the fiftieth anniversary of the US government imposing price controls, which took place on August 15, 1971. The price control “experiment” lasted ten years, and during that time, bureaucrats with no knowledge of oil and no interest in learning about it almost destroyed an American industry. The mistakes made over that stretch contain essential lessons for the current battle to bring global greenhouse gas emissions down to net zero. To date, these lessons have not been recognized or heeded.


We conclude this report by examining President Biden’s call on OPEC to boost oil production and thus bring crude oil and gasoline prices down. As noted here, today’s high gasoline prices are a partially self-inflicted wound. Should his OPEC plea fall on deaf ears, Biden has an alternative: sell oil from the US Strategic Petroleum Reserve to achieve the same effect: reduced crude oil and gasoline prices.


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