Action #1: Let’s Go, Joe! Ask Biden to use his executive powers to invoke the Defense Production Act.
Option #1: You can use this form from Indivisible National here: https://act.newmode.net/action/indivisible-project/email-president-biden-and-tell-him-declare-national-climate-emergency
Option #12: (indivisibles.f.) Sample email to Biden: We are united behind you in supporting Ukraine’s fight against Putin’s invasion, and applaud your bold action in getting our allies to join the US in releasing 60 million barrels from strategic petroleum reserves. Unfortunately, in spite of your direct appeals to oil company executives to help the world curb Putin’s aggression, oil prices at the pump continue to rise.
It’s time to use your authority under the Defense Production Act to issue executive orders to address this crisis:
- Bring down energy prices by declaring a National Climate Emergency and invoking the Defense Production Act to both increase the production of renewable energy and “combat and prohibit hoarding and price gouging with respect to those [oil and gas] resources” as the Trump administration did regarding PPE during the pandemic, and
- Use the DPA to increase production of renewable energy, convert all federal vehicles to electric power, including postal vehicles, and steer the nation’s economy away from dependence on fossil fuels.
- Save tens of thousands of lives annually by updating and strengthening clean air and water protections.
- Require new residential and public construction to incorporate electric charging stations.
We also ask you to make additional releases from the strategic oil reserve to counter shortage-caused price spikes as needed. That’s the main purpose of the strategic reserve; now is the time to use it.
Action #2: Tell our legislators to do their part by passing this list of anti-price gouging acts.
Not a lot of explanation necessary here. Titles are pretty descriptive
- Minimal script for reps: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to both support and vote “YES” for H.R. 675 – the COVID-19 Price Gouging Prevention Act, H.R.7061/S.3802 – Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act and H.R.7099 – Stop Gas Price Gouging Tax and Rebate Act
- Minimal script for senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen. [___] to both support and vote “YES” for S.3802 – Big Oil Windfall Profits Tax Act
- President Biden: email, Comments: 202-456-1111, Switchboard: 202-456-1414, TTY/TTD: 202-456-6213
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my rep./ senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
Economic warfare is expensive. For weeks now, the West has been trying to thwart Russia’s war of conquest against Ukraine by banning its exports, weakening its currency, personally sanctioning Putin and his oligarch cronies, and making it more difficult for them to stash or spend their ill-gotten loot. This is having the intended effect on the Russian economy but has also exacerbated inflation here at home, particularly energy costs. Elsewhere in the world, our economic sanctions against Russia will have serious consequences, such as in Middle Eastern and African nations that rely on Russia for wheat and other grains.
In recent years, Russia has supplied roughly 10% of the world’s oil (though just 3% of America’s). Since oil prices are set globally, blocking Russian petroleum exports affects prices everywhere. But other factors also affect oil prices: supply chain problems, increased demand as the effects of the pandemic recede, deliberate efforts by oil-exporting nations to jack up prices, and the greed of the Big Oil corporations that are price gouging to drive up their profits. Some of those factors are beyond the control of the American government, but not all of them. The effects of supply and demand can be mitigated by releasing even more petroleum from the strategic reserve (which is what it was set up for) and price gouging can be addressed by executive orders.
In the summer of 2020, at the urging of Congressional Democrats, Trump used his power under the Defense Production Act (DPA) to issue an Executive Order directing the Department of Health and Human Services to go after suppliers of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to “combat and prohibit hoarding and price gouging with respect to those resources.” President Biden can do the same in this energy supply emergency by empowering the Departments of Energy and Commerce to set standards to stop the price gouging by Big Oil.
We also agree with the 200+ environmental groups that have called on President Joe Biden this month to invoke the Defense Production Act and use his executive powers to increase production of renewable energy and steer the nation’s economy away from fossil fuels. He could respond to this oil price gouging crisis by using the DPA to empower various government departments to accelerate conversion to sustainable power sources. Doing that now could also deliver significant progress in addressing the climate emergency, which millions of Americans voted for.