News

What’s the deal with Gas Prices and Inflation? A Rhetoric Check

Gas Prices

Republicans wrongly blame Biden for rising gas prices, pointing to the Biden administration’s policies on the Keystone XL pipeline and certain oil and gas leases, which have had little impact on prices. The primary reason for rising gas prices over the past year is the coronavirus pandemic and its disruptions to global supply and demand.

The ban on imports of Russian oil, gas and coal, announced on Tuesday as a response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, have also caused gas prices to rise. 

Republicans support the ban as well – it is one of the most effective ways to hold Russia accountable

There are solutions to this, and Democrats are leading the way:

Last week, in coordination with our allies, the U.S. secured a release of 60 million barrels of oil from our strategic reserves.

Senator Tester broke with the party and called on the US to focus on producing domestic energy to face the challenge. Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Jon Tester (D-MT) are calling for America to produce more oil domestically and not empower our enemies or those who don’t share our values – Tester proving once again that he is ready to put Montana and America over party. 

The best response to rising gas prices is increasing our domestic production and trade with our allies, not buying from dictators who are actively invading sovereign nations. 

The Keystone XL pipeline wouldn’t have prevented rising gasoline prices. 

Only 8% of the pipeline had been built when Biden canceled the project. Even if construction had continued, it would not be delivering any oil to the U.S until 2023 at the earliest. 

Inflation

President Biden knows how higher prices can impact a family’s budget, which is why he is fighting to bring down the everyday prices that are squeezing Americans.

  • The Administration is pushing for investments like the Bipartisan Innovation Act so we can manufacture more in America, strengthen our supply chains, and move goods to market at lower cost.
  • The President promoting competition to make sure big corporations are offering consumers fair prices,
  • The President is pressing Congress to pass his plan to lower the cost of essentials like prescription drugs, child care, and energy.

We can do all this, and we can reduce the huge federal budget deficit that the President inherited from his predecessor. Earlier this week, we learned that after reducing the deficit last year — for the first time since 2015 – CBO reported that we are on track to cut the deficit this year by over $1 trillion – the largest one-year reduction in the deficit in U.S. history. 

Senate Banking Committee Republicans have REFUSED to even show up and do their job to confirm President Biden’s nominees to the Fed — the body that can do the most to tackle inflation.

Gas Prices and Covid – The Full Story: 

In the early months of 2020, when the virus took hold, demand for oil dried up and prices plummeted, with the benchmark price for crude oil in the United States falling to negative $37.63 that April. In response, producers in the United States and around the world began decreasing output.

“Covid changed the game, not President Biden,” said Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices. “U.S. oil production fell in the last eight months of President Trump’s tenure. Is that his fault? No.”

“The pandemic brought us to our knees,” Mr. De Haan added.

As pandemic restrictions loosened worldwide and economies recovered, demand outpaced supply. That was “mostly attributable” to the decision by OPEC Plus, an alliance of oil-producing countries that controls about half the world’s supply, to limit increases in production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Domestic production also remains below pre-pandemic levels, as capital spending declined and investors remained reluctant to provide financing to the oil industry.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only compounded the issues.

→ For more information: NYT Gas Price Fact Check

You might also enjoy