Oil production higher under Biden, but claim needs context


Oil production averaged 11.2 million barrels a day under the Biden administration, according to 14 months of data.

WASHINGTON – If you feel like crying every time you fill up on gas, you’re not alone. According to the AAA, $4.81 per gallon is the average in the DC area.

There has been a lot of finger pointing at who is to blame. Some people have criticized America’s reliance on foreign oil, saying that if President Joe Biden focused on domestic oil production, gas prices would be lower.

Meanwhile, others say U.S. oil production is higher under Biden than any previous president.

Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made a similar comment regarding the past three administrations.

“We are now at near-record oil production levels here in the United States, averaging 12 million barrels per day,” Secretary Granholm said June 22. “Under this president, the country produces more oil on average than it did during the Bush, Obama, or Trump administrations.

A day later, President Biden tweeted a bar chart showing the amount of oil produced daily under each president.

“I’m doing everything in my power to fight the effects of Putin’s price hike on historic oil production,” Biden said.

THE QUESTION:

Is oil production higher under Biden than under previous administrations?

THE SOURCES:

THE ANSWER:

Yes, technically, oil production is on average higher under President Biden than previous administrations on record. But it takes a lot of context.

WHAT WE FOUND:

First and foremost, our experts say that presidents don’t control oil production.

“I find it difficult to accept a presidential comparison, because most of the time (…) a president has no control over oil production in this country,” said Patrick De Haan, an analyst at GasBuddy.

“They are the result of independent investment decisions made by private companies in response to the current market environment,” Finley said.

RELATED: CHECK: Yes, oil company revenues grew in 2021

We found that domestic production peaked in early 2020, when President Donald Trump was in power, with over 13 million barrels of oil produced per day.

But if you compare oil production during a presidency, it’s technically the highest under Biden.

According to EIA statistics, average oil production reached just over 11 million barrels per day during the Trump administration. So far, with 14 months of data available, it’s 11.2 million barrels per day under the Biden administration.

We can therefore verify that technically these statements are true.

“You can’t say ‘oh, President Trump pushed oil production to 13 million barrels’ – no oil company did that because oil companies also shut down production because of COVID,” said said De Haan as a warning. “President Trump can’t take credit for high oil production, he can’t take credit for low oil production. Just like Biden can’t take credit for low oil production or high and low oil production. Now some of his policies may influence the future of oil production. But it’s a long way to go.

Finley added that it was not yet a true apples-to-apples comparison.

“It’s a bit inaccurate to compare President Biden’s tenure so far, which is only, you know, a few years with the full four years of his predecessor, and the previous eight years, under President Obama.” , Finley said.

Also, remember that crude oil is only part of the equation. There’s a lot going on in the world of refining.

“By far the biggest change is that the cost of refining, you know, the margins that refiners get to turn crude oil into gasoline has increased very dramatically,” Finley said.

RELATED: No, There’s Not Enough Recoverable Crude Oil in the United States to Last Over 400 Years


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