A prominent economist confronted Sean Hannity on Friday over the Fox News host’s claims about US energy production under Biden versus Trump administrations.
On his Friday show, Hannity attacked President Joe Biden’s energy policies. His guest, Austan Goolsbee, a University of Chicago professor and former economic adviser to the Obama administration, denied one allegation after another in a heated exchange.
“He inherited energy independence, and we were a net exporter of energy, and now he’s begging OPEC,” Hannity said.
Goolsbee pushed back, saying Biden “inherited an economic downturn close to disaster, and at times like this, the price of oil tends to go down.”
Hannity insisted that Biden was responsible for a drop in energy production, saying he “cut American energy production by 40%” and noting that the United States was a net exporter of energy. energy under former President Donald Trump.
“No, it didn’t reduce energy production by 40%,” Goolsbee replied. “Energy production dropped because we were in a catastrophic economic crisis.”
The United States produced 11,473 barrels of crude oil in October 2021, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration, compared to 10,413 barrels in October 2020 and 12,771 barrels in 2019 before the pandemic hit.
‘Biden didn’t cut oil production by 40%,’ Goolsbee said Newsweek the Saturday. “U.S. oil production in 2021 was only slightly below peak years under Trump and was higher than all but 2 years in U.S. history.”
Hannity countered that Biden fired the Keystone XL pipeline workers, to which Goolsbee replied, “The Keystone pipeline hasn’t been built yet, Sean. It hasn’t had any effect on energy production.”
Hannity then asked the economist why Biden is “begging OPEC,” adding, “Donald Trump didn’t beg OPEC.”
“He’s not begging OPEC,” Goolsbee replied. “He convinced OPEC, and OPEC is increasing production.”
Hannity insisted that OPEC continues to “reject” Biden.
“They didn’t reject it,” Goolsbee replied. “They said they were ramping up production in January. Why are you complaining about that, Sean? You’re everywhere here. You were saying you didn’t like paying the high gas price. I told you that gasoline prices went down and Biden convinced OPEC to increase production, and then you said, ‘Why is he asking them to increase production?’”
On the issue of gasoline prices, Goolsbee said Newsweek that “oil is a global commodity. Gasoline prices are up everywhere because world oil prices are up everywhere, not just in the United States”
Despite the heated argument between Hannity and Goolsbee, the former economic adviser said Newsweek that they were “just having fun”.
“Sean and I are old friends and we’ve been fighting for years. Like I said, we bicker like two old people in the nursing home, but that’s just our thing,” Goolsbee said. “I always enjoy chatting with him and have a lot of respect for his skills. He always keeps me on my toes and I hope he says the same for me.”
Hannity has long criticized Biden and his policies. In an interview with Newsweek in October, Hannity called the president “weak, frail, and a cognitive mess.”
“We are seeing the consequences now, but the media has put him in a protection program,” he said of Biden.
According to Reuters, U.S. energy companies added the most oil and gas rigs in the week of Jan. 14 since April 2020.
The story has been updated to include comments from Goolsbee and data from the Energy Information Administration.