Republican Senator John Thune of South Dakota thinks President Joe Biden is responsible for rising gasoline prices, not Russian President Vladimir Putin and the invasion of Ukraine.
According to Thune, “This administration came to office starting shutting down energy projects in America and making it more expensive, more difficult to invest, and to basically harvest the enormous energy resources we have here, right at home
“[Biden] got us away from the concept of energy independence, and it forces us now to turn to other countries around the world, particularly unreliable countries, to get our energy needs met again.”
Thune emphasized how ironic it is now because when the president was inaugurated in January 2021, he immediately shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline, bringing oil and natural gas from Canada to the United States.
However, he allowed the Russian Nord Stream 2 Pipeline to move forward, which freed Russia to supply energy to European nations. Biden then refused to place sanctions on the pipeline while Russia built up a military on the border with Ukraine, Thune charged.
White House strategy
Jen Psaki, White House press secretary, said that the Biden administration has been “planning for weeks” its response in the event of Russia invading Ukraine and what the effect will be to the United States.
“We have been in touch with allies and partners suppliers out there on the global stage for weeks now in preparation for a range of impacts of, you know, in anticipation of an invasion or an impact of an invasion, both for natural gas and oil prices on the market,” said Psaki.
“We will continue those engagements. As I’ve said, and I said [Tuesday], for the president, all options remain on the table.”
Thune said the reason for the pain Americans are feeling at the pump is domestic.
“The reason you have a 40% increase in the cost of gasoline in this country is because we have a pretty high demand coming out of the pandemic. And we don’t have the supply needed because this administration decided that in the interest of their obsession with electric vehicles, we no longer had to develop American energy.
“And we are paying the price for it as the pump.”
According to Thune, the price increases hurt low- and middle-income families the most by basically giving them a tax increase of $3,500 per year.
Russia is the second-largest oil-producing country in the world. Its invasion of Ukraine could mean U.S. sanctions that keep oil from flowing to the world market and pushing prices higher. Some analysts predict gas prices could soar as much as 50 cents.
Recent polls show that President Biden is being blamed by the public for soaring gas prices during the worst inflation in 40 years.
Inflation spiked more than 7% last year. It is an increasingly troublesome problem for Biden and fellow Democrats ahead of the November midterm elections.