As a candidate, Joe Biden made climate change a pillar of his campaign for the White House, promising to decarbonize the U.S. economy, end drilling on public lands and lead the world in a historic shift away from fossil fuels.

But more than a year into his presidency, Biden has instead been forced by rampant inflation and a war in Europe to prioritize energy security, leading his administration to unleash record amounts of crude oil from strategic reserves and to urge drillers to pump harder to keep up with demand.

The jarring shift in Biden’s energy policy priorities reflects the difficulties any U.S. administration might face in attempting a sweeping, decadeslong reform of the country's massive energy economy to curb global warming while simultaneously assisting geopolitical allies and keeping consumer prices in check.