Amid his beach vacation in Delaware, President Biden told reporters the record gas prices present a “good opportunity” to “make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy.”
“My dear mother used to have an expression: Out of everything lousy, something good will happen if you look hard enough for it,” Biden said Monday. “We have a chance here to make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy, electric vehicles, and not just electric vehicles but across the board.”
The national average price at the pump for regular, according to AAA, is $4.98 a gallon. California leads the states, with an average of $6.38.
Biden has blamed overall inflation and the high gas prices on COVID-19, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and “greedy” oil companies.
He told reporters at Rehoboth Beach his team “will be sitting down with the executives of the major oil companies this week, so I can get an explanation of how they justify making $35 billion in the first quarter.”
See Biden’s remarks:
Biden: “My mother had an expression: out of everything lousy, something good will happen. We have a chance to make a fundamental turn toward renewable energy, electric vehicles, and across the board.” pic.twitter.com/Si4oJ7ROFg
— Greg Price (@greg_price11) June 20, 2022
On Tuesday, Biden spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre stumbled – some on Twitter saw it as a Freudian slip – when she tried to assure reporters at the daily briefing that Biden was working on the problem.
“The president has been very clear in making sure that he does everything that he can to elevate – to alleviate – the pain that American families are feeling when it comes to gas prices,” she said.
WH Press Sec almost accidentally said the truth:
“The president has been very clear in making sure that he does everything that he can to elevate—to alleviate the pain that American families are feeling when it comes to gas prices.” pic.twitter.com/gEJypNevyz
— TheBlaze (@theblaze) June 21, 2022
Jean-Pierre said the president is “looking at an array of options,” but didn’t have “anything to share” at the moment.
One option being floated is a federal gas tax holiday that would suspend the tax of 18.4 cents per gallon of gas and 24.4 cents for diesel. But critics argue the savings would be minimal for drivers and ultimately would drive inflation further.
The cruelty is the point with the Biden administration. They don’t want you to drive whatever vehicle you want. They want $10 a gallon gas and to make your life miserable!
Joe Biden needs to stop playing games and he needs to get the hell off the backs of the American people! pic.twitter.com/g8cvViUCrl
— Ted Cruz (@tedcruz) June 21, 2022
The high gas prices are “not an accident,” Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said in an interview with Newsmax TV, arguing Biden could immediately lift the restrictions on drilling and pipeline permits he implemented. But he won’t, the senator said, because he is “in hock to the Green New Deal radicals.”
“This is what Joe Biden campaigned on,” he said.
Cruz said if Americans don’t drive the kind of car “they want, they want to make your life miserable.”
Biden has touted electric cars as the way forward, but a closer look at whole process of generating electricity and producing and disposing batteries suggests they do greater harm to the environment while raising serious ethical questions about the conditions under which the materials are mined.
Biden repeatedly stated during the 2020 presidential campaign that he intended “end fossil fuels.”
In a July 2019 primary debate with his Democratic Party opponents hosted by CNN, he was asked, “Would there be any place for fossil fuels, including coal and fracking, in a Biden administration?”
“No,” he replied. “We would work it out. We would make sure it’s eliminated.”
In the CNN debate, Biden stated emphatically: “No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period.”
In conversations with individual voters on the campaign trail, he promised to “end fossil fuels” and stop fracking and new pipelines.
Biden also affirmed that he would be willing to sacrifice economic growth and thousands of blue collar jobs to hasten the transition to alternative energy.
See a video montage of Biden’s condemnation of the oil industry:
Wondering why gas is up $2 since Biden took office? Watch this.pic.twitter.com/X5tcDOPtT8
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 19, 2022
Biden’s campaign later clarified that “eliminating” oil-based energy meant ending subsidies for the industry and transitioning by 2050 to an economy with net-zero emissions.
In May, however, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., tied the president’s policies to the record-high gas prices in an exchange with Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm.
Granholm told Hawley “you can thank the activity of Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.”
The senator shot back: “With all due respect, madam secretary, that’s utter nonsense.”
Hawley argued that long before the Russian invasion – from January to August of 2021 – “the price of gasoline was up over 30% in my state alone.”
“It has been a continuous, continuous upward tick since then,” Hawley said.
“And here’s what your president did when he first came to office. He immediately reentered the Paris Climate Accord. He canceled the Keystone Pipeline. He halted leasing programs in ANWR. He issued a 60-day halt on all new oil and gas leases and drilling permits on federal lands and waters. That’s nationwide,” Hawley said.
The senator noted the halt affected 25% of U.S. oil production.
“He directed federal agencies to eliminate all supports for fossil fuels,” Hawley continued. “He imposed new regulations on oil and gas and methane emissions. Those were all just in the first few days. Are you telling me that had no effect on our energy supply?”
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On March 31, Biden announced his decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, promising prices at the pump would “continue to come down … it will come down and it could come down fairly significantly.”
Economists warned that the move could make gas even more expensive.
See Biden’s remarks on March 31:
Biden on March 31: Gas prices will “continue to come down … it will come down and it could come down fairly significantly”
Gas prices just reached a new record high for the 9th day in a row. pic.twitter.com/8quZblf5pQ
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) May 18, 2022
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