With the Democrats in control of the White House, control of the Senate, and control of the House until this month, it might be hard to imagine that Republicans were to blame for a macroeconomic trend such as higher gas prices…particularly since they’re generally the pro-drilling for oil party.
But, of course, that’s exactly what Team Biden’s main spokeswoman, Karine Jean Pierre, said during a recent press conference. According to her, the House Republicans are already to blame for
Watch her here:
KJP: "House Republicans are using their narrow majority to force the American people to pay higher gas prices.”pic.twitter.com/8qnC8Hpa7f
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) January 23, 2023
As you can hear in the clip, KJP led off with her attack on the GOP, going straight from “Happy Monday” to “House Republicans will vote to raise gas prices,” saying:
“Good afternoon, everybody. Happy Monday. As many of you are tracking, this week, House Republicans will vote to raise gas prices on American families. The contrast in priorities could not be more stark. The President spent the last two years, as you know, doing everything he could to lower gas prices for American families, and prices are down about $1.60 a gallon since last summer.
“Now, House Republicans are using their narrow majority to force the American people to pay higher gas prices, just as big oil companies are amassing record profits. What’s even more alarming is that this isn’t — this is only — this is not the only attempt by House Republicans’ majority to raise costs on middle — middle-class families.
“House Republicans are also pushing a tax increase on middle-class families, an inflation-worsening tax cut for the rich, and high prescription drug costs as well.
“These extreme policies would subject working families to immense financial pain and balloon our deficit, all just to benefit the wealthiest taxpayers and big corporations.”
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm then started speaking and made much the same claim as KJP, arguing that the HR 21 bill, which would require the expansion of drilling leases on federal lands commensurate with releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. Granholm came out swinging against that bill, saying:
Yet, as Karine said, House Republicans are now pursuing this extreme agenda that risks worse- — worsening supply shortages in times of crisis, and risks raising prices — gas prices for American families.
When you consider H.R. 21, which is a bill that they’ve introduced, it needlessly aims to weaken the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s usefulness as a tool to ensure energy security in America. The SPR — the Strategic Petroleum Reserve — gives us the means to increase supply when the market need it — needs it most, and it gives us the tool to increase it quickly — “quickly” being the operative word. Speed is key.
But H.R. 21 would impose unnecessary, unhelpful restrictions on when the SPR can be used to help provide supply. It would require these arbitrary reports regarding energy production on federal lands before waiving any new restrictions. It would not offer any tangible benefits to the American people. Instead, it would interfere with our ability to be responsive to release oil de- — during an international emergency, helping Putin’s war aims. It would potentially delay allowing oil to be released for domestic emergencies following a natural disaster or a pipeline outage at home, leaving, again, prices at risk of rising during — in the wake of a market shock because of emergencies due to extreme weather events.
As I noted in the letter I sent to the Hill last week, be clear: There is nothing standing in the way of domestic oil and gas production. In fact, production is on track for a new record in 2023.
From the beginning, the President set out to use SPR as a bridge, boosting oil supply while the production ramped up. So, production was down globally because of Russia’s invasion and the pulling of Russian barrels off the market. He wanted to increase the Strategic Petroleum Reserve amounts to make a bridge while calling upon domestic oil and gas industry to increase production. And that is exactly what has happened.
Today, the SPR remains the largest strategic petroleum reserve in the world. And with our plans to refill it at the lowest — you know, at lower prices than what we sold at, the use of the SPR not only saved Americans money, but these releases will end up delivering a return for taxpayers.
And so, it’s not a tool that we should be taking off the table. We are willing to work with Republicans and with Democrats alike to make our system — actually do it — more reliable and more resilient, and our country more energy independent, and costs more affordable.
The Inflation Reduction Act is already reducing costs, and it’s made the United States the most attractive country in the world to invest in clean energy production. We believe there’s room for bipartisanship to advance a managed transition. We believe that there is room for bipartisanship to expand our ability to create more affordable, reliable energy in America.
But proposals like H.R. 21, which risks raising these gas prices and making it offer to — harder to offer Americans relief in the future are simply nonstarters.
"*" indicates required fields