America’s economy has always been deeply tied to the energy industry, particularly oil and gas. Increased consumer prices, mainly gasoline, have a far-reaching impact on the economy. Thus, it becomes fundamentally integral to scrutinize President Biden’s policies that have affected these prices and how they prove to be a drastic departure from the economically sound policies of the Trump administration and Secretary Ryan Zinke.

As the 45th President, Donald Trump and his administration, including Secretary Ryan Zinke, focused resolutely on an ‘American First’ approach. Central to this philosophy was achieving energy independence, minimizing foreign control over the nation’s energy production, and fostering opportunities for American workers. Policies during this time lowered gas prices, increased production, and most importantly, brought America energy independence.

Pushing for the Keystone XL pipeline, expansion of leases for offshore oil and gas exploration, and streamlining the permitting process, the Trump/Zinke era brought American energy to the forefront. Our global position shifted from being heavily reliant on foreign territories, such as Russia and the Middle East, to being a global leader in energy production. The importance of this cannot be understated. It provided stability in domestic energy prices and gave the U.S. geostrategic advantages.

Enter the Biden administration, and we see a dramatically contrasting approach. Early signs of policy deviation, such as the halting of Keystone XL pipeline construction and banning new oil and gas leases on federal lands, signaled a retreat from the path to energy independence.

More alarmingly, there seems to be a clandestine tilt toward countries with oppressive regimes. It is, for example, deeply troublesome that President Biden appears to be fostering deals with the criminal communist regime of Nicolás Maduro in Venezuela, even reportedly releasing Maduro’s cartel-related nephew from prison to foster oil production and potentially stabilize gas prices further.

Such moves signify a drastic shift from the Trump-era policy of supporting democratic President Juan Guaidó in Venezuela. Instead of reigning in oil-producing allies, as the previous administration did, the Biden administration appears to be settling on requesting adversaries for cheaper oil.

Gas is more than just a commodity. For millions of Americans, it is a critical part of their daily lives. Rising gas prices cut into their incomes, mean fewer outings, and stifle the economic recovery. The move to foster relations with oppressive regimes out of convenience rather than addressing the root cause, that is, moving away from energy independence is an ill-guided policy choice.

In conclusion, America thrived under the energy policies from the Trump/Zinke era. Today, we are experiencing bitter consequences of the Biden administration’s shift in energy policy, including higher energy prices and undue engagement with oppressive regimes. It’s high time that the policymakers reevaluate the direction and return to the path that fosters energy independence and economic prosperity. We should not forget that strength in energy production equates to a robust economy and national security.

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