GOP Senator Throws Down With Energy Sec After She Insists Biden's Policies Had No Impact on Gas Prices


Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) grilled Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm on whether the president’s policies impacted gas prices.

During a Senate hearing on Thursday, Hawley noted that the average price for a gallon of gas in his home state is $4.10.

Additionally, he pointed out that AAA projects that the national average price for a gallon of gas could hit $6 by August.

“Is this acceptable to you?” he asked.

Granholm responded, “No, it is not, and you can thank the activity of Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine and pulling…”

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“Oh, nonsense. With all due respect Madam Secretary that’s utter nonsense,” Hawley interjected as he noted in Jan. 2021, the average price for a gallon of gas in Missouri was $2.07 and saw a 30% increase over the following eight months.

He asked what steps Granholm is taking to “reverse this administration’s policies that are drawing down our own supply of in this country.”

“With respect, sir, it is not administration policies that have affected supply and demand,” she responded.

Hawley then listed a series of policies President Joe Biden implemented and asked, “Are you telling me under oath these policies had no effect?

Do you think Biden's policies had any affect on gas prices?

“No, they did not,” Granholm said. “Ask Vladimir Putin about the increase in demand and the decrease in supply from pulling Russian barrels of oil off the market.”

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When asked to explain the increase in gas prices from Jan. 2021 through August, Granholm said, “Coming out of Covid, there was an increase in demand because people were driving again. When there was no demand, the prices dropped. That is a basic law of economics.”

“I have to say, madam secretary, with all due respect, your answers are insulting,” Hawley fired back.

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After some cross-talk, the Missouri senator asked Granholm what the administration is doing to bring down gas prices.

“I’ve said, we have called repeatedly for increases in supply from domestic oil and gas manufacturers, from international oil and gas manufacturers, we want to increase supply, and that is why the president released an unprecedented amount from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve,” she responded.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas is $4.58 as of Thursday morning, up from $3.04 a year ago.

As Granholm did in this exchange, Biden administration officials have pointed to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a reason for the spike in gas prices. They also noted that demand for gas rose last year after travel returned to pre-pandemic levels.

And while Hawley argued that Biden’s policies limited U.S. oil supplies, the AFP notes, “The United States became a net exporter of oil and refined products in 2020 but still imports millions of barrels per day, and global market conditions will affect the country no matter how much crude it produces domestically.”

Additionally, the U.S. is expected to produce a record amount of oil in 2023.

Still, The Washington Post’s fact-checker, notes, “The U.S. government can have the effect of shaping market perceptions that on the margins can affect prices.”

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