Calls for Biden to socialize industry have moved quickly from fringe to mainstream
The energy crisis is worsening. The U.S. has fewer than 30 days of diesel and other distillate fuels, the lowest level since 1945. Supplies are so low that there will be shortages and price spikes within six months unless the U.S. enters recession, experts warn. In response, the Biden administration is releasing more oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. But the reserves are of crude oil, not refined oil products such as diesel. And the releases are stifling investment in future oil production. “People are depleting their emergency stocks,” warned Saudi Arabia’s energy minister earlier this week. “Losing emergency stocks may become painful in the months to come.”
In response, influential Democrats, including a leading U.S. Senate candidate, a former Department of Energy official, and an influential energy expert, are urging the U.S. government to socialize America’s oil and gas firms.
At a Houston conference last week, Jason Bordoff, Dean of Columbia University’s Climate School, called for the “nationalization” of oil and gas companies. “Government must take an active role in owning assets that will become stranded,” he said, “and plan to strand those assets.” By “strand” Bordoff meant “make financially worthless.” Bordoff made the point at least twice during the confrerence. Bordoff’s call shocked many in the audience. “Jason is smart, well-informed, and well-connected to the Biden Administration,” said someone who was at the conference, “so these comments are scary.”