Halloween is over. And whether you’re one of those people who can’t stand that Christmas overtakes Thanksgiving, or whether you’ve already hung your stockings with care, from a retail and shipping perspective, the holiday shopping season has already begun.

This happens every year. Yet something else is happening this year that has not happened before.

America is entering a severe diesel shortage – just in time for everyone to start ordering their holiday packages. If there’s no diesel, there’s no fuel for the trucks that bring everything we take for granted to stores and our homes. A severe shortage in diesel could mean an eventual severe shortage in groceries and other goods (or a severe increase in the price of everything else).

The Energy Information Administration reports that inventories for diesel have not been this low since 1982 (which is when they started tracking the data). There are only 25 days of supply left.

Mansfield Energy, a fuel supply and logistics company, announced that this shortage would affect the southeastern United States particularly hard, including Virginia and Maryland.

But why is this happening?

Some would have you believe that the main and only reason is the war in Ukraine. This is only partially correct.

While yes, the war in Ukraine, and the subsequent ban on Russian oil imports, have played a role, it is not the whole story.

President Joe Biden has eliminated new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, killed the Keystone Pipeline, closed the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to energy exploration, and pursued myriad regulations to increase the cost of energy and energy production (social cost of carbon, new methane rule, and the Paris Climate Accord to name a few).

All of these policies increase risk and cost to energy companies. It makes it less profitable and secure to invest in new energy development.

Europe, meanwhile, has gone even further on green policies than the United States, and is now reaping the supposed “benefits.” Europe has forced itself to rely on Russian gas to fulfill its own green goals. Now, as winter approaches, it is said wood is the new gold in Europe because it is so valuable for home heating with the gas shortages.

What’s worse, is that the Biden Administration doesn’t seem to have any plan for fixing it. Here’s what White House spokesman John Kirby had to say when asked about it:

“I’ll take the question on the diesel, because I just don’t have the data on that in front me. So let me take that and we’ll get back to you on that, but writ large, the president has been working very, very hard to make sure that we’re, that not only are we ready for fluctuations that could come and of course, the prices are going down and we think that’s important, but that we are also doing what we can to help our European friends and partners who are also going to be facing a long, cold winter. We have doubled our commitment, the commitment he made in March, for natural gas exports to Europe.”

So, the administration’s answer to America’s diesel shortage is to ship natural gas to Europe?

And I’m not sure what Kirby is referring to by “prices are going down.” Diesel prices are up more than $5 per gallon nationwide according to Forbes.

The Biden Administration did not directly cause the coming diesel shortage, but it has done everything in its power to make America very susceptible to any global supply disruption.

Without the Biden Administration’s anti-energy policies, America could have weathered the coming diesel shortage storm.

This article was originally published in the Fairfax County Times.

Author

  • Adam Houser

    Adam Houser coordinates student leaders as National Director of CFACT's collegians program and writes on issues of climate and energy.