President Joe Biden is taking aim at claims that his measures designed to combat climate change have led to an increase in gas prices.
During an event at the White House on Tuesday, Biden said, “I also want to briefly address one myth about inflated gas prices: they’re not due to environmental measures. My effort to combat climate change is not raising the price of gas.”
“What it’s doing is increasing the availability of jobs. Jobs building electric cars like the one I drove at the GM factory in Detroit last week. For the hundreds of thousands of folks who bought one of those electric cars, they’re going to save $800 to $1,000 in fuel costs this year,” he continued.
Instead, he said, “The big part of why Americans are facing high gas prices is because oil-producing countries and large companies have not ramped up the supply of oil quickly enough to meet the demand.”
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President Biden says it's a "myth" that his environmental measures are spiking gas prices for consumers: "My effort to combat climate change is not raising the price of gas." https://t.co/OaxvaA24hA pic.twitter.com/SeHA2Clnwx— CBS News (@CBSNews) November 23, 2021
According to AAA, the average price for a gallon of gas nationally is $3.40, up from $2.10 a year ago.
Earlier on Tuesday, the president announced that “the Department of Energy will make available releases of 50 million barrels of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to lower prices for Americans and address the mismatch between demand exiting the pandemic and supply.”
And on Wednesday, he asked the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to examine whether “illegal conduct” by oil and gas companies is driving up gas prices.
House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) blasted Biden after he announced the decision to release oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve as he tweeted, “Had you simply done nothing since Day 1, Americans would be better off and paying less at the pump. Instead, one-party rule has decimated American energy production and jobs.”
“The real solution to your energy crisis is to let America produce the energy we have and need,” he added.
Had you simply done nothing since Day 1, Americans would be better off and paying less at the pump. Instead, one-party rule has decimated American energy production and jobs.— Kevin McCarthy (@GOPLeader) November 23, 2021
The real solution to your energy crisis is to let America produce the energy we have and need. https://t.co/obF3lYVjgG
Mike Sommers, the president of the American Petroleum Institute, claimed that Biden’s climate measures have in part fueled higher gas prices.
As CNN Business notes, “On his first day in office, Biden immediately moved to rejoin the Paris Agreement on climate change, placed a temporary moratorium on oil and gas leasing in the Arctic and revoked the permit for the Keystone XL pipeline, a controversial project that wasn’t scheduled to begin transporting Canadian oil until 2023 at the earliest.
“I’m not saying what Biden has done in the first eight months is the only reason we are seeing high prices today,” Sommers told CNN Business, adding, “There’s no question there are significant market forces at play.”
Still, Sommers said that the pause on oil and gas leasing would not affect today’s prices. But he argued that new regulation would “discourage future investment in domestic energy.”
Patrick De Haa, the head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, told The Dispatch earlier this month, “If COVID wouldn’t have happened, we would not be at $3.42 a gallon today.”
“For the simple reason that oil companies would not have had to let go workers and shut down oil production,” he added.