U.S. President Joe Biden quickly walked back a statement he made during his State of the Union address Tuesday evening that suggested the nation will eliminate all fossil fuel use in 10 years.
When he made the remark, much of the gathered members of Congress erupted in laughter.
So did Twitter.
One More Decade?
“We’re going to need oil for at least another decade,” Biden declared during his address.
He then stuttered as lawmakers laughed at the remark, then the president quickly added, “And beyond that, we’re going to need it.”
The statement followed an anecdote Biden told about an oil executive questioning the wisdom of investing in domestic fossil fuel projects when Biden has been hostile to fossil fuels since before taking office. The president campaigned on a promise to “end oil and gas” and has created what many in the industry say is a negative business environment.
“’You’re going to shut down all the oil wells and all the refineries anyway, so why should we invest in them?’” Biden said, quoting the executive.
The president also made a gaffe early on in his State of the Union address when he called Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, the Senate Minority Leader.
As Biden related the anecdote, House Speaker Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-California, nodded behind the president.
“McCarthy’s look is, ‘So you know what I’m dealing with,’” tweeted radio host and Washington Post contributing columnist Hugh Hewitt.
Vice President Kamala Harris also appeared to be holding back laughter as she listened to the president’s remark.
“Kamala has to be micro-dosing to get through this,” replied one Twitter user, referring to the practice of taking small amounts of LSD, which allegedly improves alertness and creativity.
“Sounded like a sitcom laugh track,” another replied.
Jim Lockwood, former assistant attorney general for Ohio, live tweeted the president’s speech.
“Only one more decade? Try the next hundred years,” Lockwood tweeted after the comment.
Lockwood pointed out many common products that are made from petroleum, which Americans will have to do without in a decade should the president’s prediction come true: “Should I begin stockpiling toothpaste, plastic, deodorant, cologne and most medication now? Or should I wait a month?”
All those products are made from petroleum.
Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis responded to the address during a press conference Wednesday, questioning if the president’s comments would encourage investment in oil and gas.
“If you’re a company that wanted to produce more [oil and gas], and he says you got 10 years to go, it’s not worth it to put any money into it at that point,” DeSantis said. “But we all know you’re going to need traditional energy much, much longer than that.”