Food Prices: How Biden’s Authoritarianism Has Contributed To Farmers’ Massive Fertilizer Shortage

P. Gardner Goldsmith | January 24, 2022


The hits keep coming in the economic boxing ring of the U.S., with reports that agricultural sectors are struggling to deal with massive price increases and shortages in chemical fertilizers.

As WTHI TV, Indiana, reports:

Nitrogen fertilizer prices started increasing last fall.

But what, and, more important, who, is behind this new punch to the economy?

WTHI offers a list that lets inquisitive and logical Americans follow the informational breadcrumbs.

This is due to a number of factors: supply issues, reduction in production, and the price of the natural gas rising…

Wait. What?

Yeah. Remember when Joe Biden and his White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki implied that money-grubbing, avaricious, “Big Meat” suppliers were at fault for the higher prices of their products?

Makes total sense, because, as we all know, in a competitive marketplace, suppliers never compete to actually bring prices down, beat their competitors, and gain market share. They don’t strive to be more productive, never cater to what the consumers want, and never run the risk of losing customers if they raise prices beyond what consumers will accept.

But, what if it hasn’t been meat suppliers who have been at fault? What if they were victims? What if Biden, Psaki, and the others in government who deride these competing meat suppliers were the ones throwing the proverbial punches?

This news about fertilizers and natural gas allows us to play Sherlock Holmes, or, perhaps, play 19th Century economist Frederic Bastiat, who told us to look for what often goes “unseen,” or we can pretend to be radio host Paul Harvey, who often offered “the rest of the story.”

The rest of the story is that both the natural and man-made fertilizers integral to cattle, pork, and poultry production rely on natural gas for their supply or their very creation.

One of the most important fertilizers in the natural category is bentonite, a clay that, surprise, requires heat, often derived from the burning of natural gas, to make it usable.

In the man-made category, natural gas is the key to many of the integral chemical components of fertilizers used to help produce the tons of feed needed for grazing animals and poultry.

And, from early (January 27, 2021) in his takeover of the command-and-control U.S. economy that some erroneously and embarrassingly still call “free,” Joe Biden has slammed natural gas production.

As Abigale Tardif explained in December, for Americans for Prosperity:

One of Biden’s first actions after taking office was to halt new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters — a move that results in higher energy costs for the most vulnerable consumers.

The administration canceled the Keystone XL pipeline and suspended oil and gas leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and New Mexico (despite opposition from the Navajo Nation). It also resurrected the ‘Waters of the United States’ rule, which would increase barriers to energy projects.

That Biden move resulted in 14 states taking legal action in March, last year, to fight for their autonomy, and a court ruling that, for now, has stopped the White House clampdown.

But business owners and corporate boards change their behavior when faced with the likelihood that political forces could hamper their efforts to increase competitiveness or make their investment of time and resources nugatory.

They delay those investments or shift them into other areas.

So, despite the court the fact that, as of November, Biden has “reopened” oil and natural gas exploration in the Gulf of Mexico, energy execs remember the president’s earlier move, and his vociferous claims that he wants to shift U.S. energy use away from efficient oil, coal, and natural gas and into less efficient sources such as solar and wind. And this can retard the normal course of energy company investment in increasing supply.

Add to that the errors and unconstitutional activities to which Biden was an accomplice when he was vice president, and one realizes that it’s good to have a long-term memory, because looking at the long view of history helps us see “the rest of the story.”

The rest lies in the fact that natural gas has increased since 2008 as a supplier for mostly government-run, or regional, government-granted monopoly utility electrical power.

As James Taylor wrote for Forbes in 2018:

In 2008, coal powered more than twice as much American electricity as natural gas – 48% to 21%. By 2016, however, natural gas overtook coal as America’s most prevalent power source.

That change comes partially from supply-increasing technological developments (fracking, horizontal drilling, shale conversion), but also as a response to Obama-Biden era pressure to destroy the coal industry.

As MRCTV has reported, throughout his presidency, Barack Obama threatened and attacked coal-based power plants, forcing on them harsh operational changes for what he, the chief fascist at the time in DC, claimed was a “climate change” emergency. He subsequently added to the threats and burdens in 2017, fueling (pun intended) additional flight from coal and an increased demand for, yeah, you got it, natural gas.

So, if the demand for natural gas is increasing, but the supply is not meeting the demand, what happens in the world of basic economics?

Prices rise – both to burn the fuel needed to make bentonite, and for the actual gas needed to create chemical fertilizers.

Welcome to the world of economics, Mr. Biden and Ms. Psaki.

One wonders if you two ever have encountered it, or, if you have, whether you have the faintest conception that the only way to see prices for meat drop is to allow supply to meet demand, and that supply cannot be met by forcing price controls on mean, cannot be met by commanding the energy industries.

It only can be met by freedom, allowing market participants to reveal with their wallets and choices what they prefer, and allowing suppliers and potential suppliers to freely enter the market.

By blocking coal plants, and threatening to block exploration for more natural gas, you, Bidenistas, have played a major role in the very meat price increases you claim to deplore.

Oh, and then there’s the fact that, you and your political pals in DC and the Federal Reserve have inflated the money supply so much, 80 percent of all the US cash now in circulation was printed IN THE LAST TWO YEARS.

But, heck, cast aspersions, demonize people in agricultural sectors. Deflect blame for your ever-increasing meddling in what should be private affairs, and distract people from your own megalomania.

We’ll be sure to enjoy consuming it – as the costs of all our basics, including food, skyrocket – and we will remember…

The rest of the story.