Yesterday’s Rasmussen Reports newsletter had very bad news for Joe Biden and the Democrats.
Even though Biden has been looting the Strategic Energy Reserve all summer to try to hold down gasoline prices, with the midterm elections less than three weeks away, most voters are still worried about high gasoline prices and give President Joe Biden low marks for his energy policy.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone and online survey finds that 38% of Likely U.S. voters rate Biden good or excellent for the way he is handling energy policy. Forty-six percent rate Biden poor on the issue. (To see survey question wording, click here.)
The average national price of a gallon of regular gasoline hit $4.84 in mid-June, but has now fallen to $3.69, according to the Energy Information Administration. However, gasoline is still 83% higher than the $2.02-per-gallon price in November 2020, before Biden was elected. Eighty-three percent (83%) of voters are concerned about high prices for gasoline, home heating oil and other petroleum products, including 57% who are Very Concerned. That’s just slightly lower than last month, when 86% were concerned about gas prices.
Rasmussen found 82% of voters believe energy policy will be important in this year’s congressional elections, including 51% who say it will be Very Important. This finding is slightly lower than July.
While 64% of Democratic voters rate Biden good or excellent for his handling of energy policy, that view is shared by only 20% of Republicans and 30% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Seventy-two percent (72%) of Republicans and 54% of unaffiliated voters rate Biden poor on energy policy, as do 15% of Democrats.
Fewer Democrats (40%) than Republicans (73%) or unaffiliated voters (60%) are Very Concerned about high gas prices. Republicans (70%) are more likely than Democrats (38%) or unaffiliated voters (46%) to say energy policy will be Very Important in next month’s midterm elections.
There is little “gender gap” on voters’ appraisals of Biden’s handling of energy policy, Rasmussen found, with 45% of men and 48% of women voters giving him a poor rating. Women voters (59%) are somewhat more likely than men (55%) to be Very Concerned about high gas prices, while slightly more men (53%) than women (48%) expect energy policy to be Very Important in the congressional elections.
This is particularly bad news for Democrats because they are rapidly running out of tricks to lower gas and energy prices without actually producing energy in the United States.
Biden going hat-in-hand to the Saudis to beg them not to cut production until after the midterm elections didn’t work – they cut production anyway and outed is unsuccessful begging in the process.
And he’s rapidly running out of oil in the strategic petroleum reserve to dump on the market to try to hold down prices.
Biden announced Wednesday that he is authorizing the release of 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a draw that completes the plan announced earlier this year to release a total of 180 million barrels.
NPR reported the SPR is now at a four-decade low, and Biden’s lotting it for political gain has left a little over half the Strategic Petroleum Reserve available to deal with actual supply emergencies, as opposed to the political emergency Biden is facing.
The administration's move is unlikely to lead to lower gas prices, according to Jay Hakes, the former head of the Energy Information Administration.
"We're talking about fairly small potatoes here with putting 15 million barrels into the market, and I think the market was probably expecting that to happen anyway," Hakes told NPR. "I think the overall 180 million has been helpful in getting us through a rough patch. This additional enhancement I don't see moving the needle that much."
Senator Kevin Cramer (R-ND), member of the Environment and Public Works Committee, joined Larry Kudlow on Fox Business to discuss Biden’s plans to release more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) ahead of midterm elections, and we think Senator Cramer’s remarks are worth sharing:
It will backfire. First of all, it’s going to have a minimal effect on the price of gasoline. Second of all, we’re already down to only a three-week supply... So let’s just say, for example, Hurricane Ian’s younger brother, Hurricane Isaac, comes into the Gulf Coast and wipes out the coast of Texas and the coast of Louisiana. Suddenly we need all of that capacity they were producing. Instead of unleashing the Bakken, West Texas, or other areas in the United States, [we] need to go to the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. It’s only been tapped three times, twice in times of war and the other time [was] during Hurricane Katrina. We’ve made ourselves dependent again. It’s so absurd. It’s so wrong economically. From a national security [and] a geopolitical common sense standpoint, we should be using our resources to influence the world rather than being influenced by the world. And it is, to your point, very transparent that [Joe Biden is] doing this on the eve of an election in a year that is going very poorly for Democrats.
Senator Cramer is right. Biden has made us dependent on foreign energy sources again and by looting the Strategic Petroleum Reserve in a desperate attempt to save the political fortunes of Democrats Biden has left the United States in the precarious position of having only a three-weeks supply of oil left should we face a real energy supply emergency.
Control of Congress
Joe Biden poll numbers
Strategic Petroleum Reserve
U.S. oil reserves
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