Fox News is misleading viewers on the true reason for increased gas prices.
Fox News host Steve Doocy on Thursday told viewers of "Fox & Friends" to "blame" President Joe Biden for increased gas prices. But energy experts it's not really Biden's fault.
"With the gas, which now costs a dollar more a gallon than it did last year, you might as well blame the Biden administration," Doocy said on his show.
Doocy did not factor in the effects of the pandemic. Experts say lowered production stemming from pandemic lockdowns has created a disparity between supply and demand as more businesses reopened in 2021.
Petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan told Washington, D.C., outlet WTOP, "We can thank just about everything that we're seeing now on the fact that COVID stifled consumer demand long enough that it caused prices to collapse, which caused production to collapse."
"Unfortunately oil prices may continue to advance as long as we are at this imbalance of supply and demand and it looks like that could persist," De Haan added.
And Mark Finley, a fellow at Rice University's Center for Energy Studies, told USA Today in June, "The pandemic drove the world's oil market to become massively oversupplied, inventory dramatically increased and prices collapsed."
Doocy also attempted to tie in Biden's decision to cancel the Keystone XL pipeline to current problems with fuel costs.
"A year ago, the country was self-reliant, when it came to energy, but fast forward to the first day of Joe Biden's administration, what did he do? He canceled the XL pipeline," said Doocy. "That too is part of the infrastructure that is part of the supply chain. And so when you cannot get gas to the people who need it, the prices go up and there are shortages, and welcome to October 14, 2021."
But when Biden announced the closure of the pipeline on his first day in office on Jan. 20, saying that it was not consistent with his administration's "economic and climate imperatives," the pipeline was only 8% complete. Construction had been expected to continue through 2022, making it highly unlikely that the pipeline would be contributing to the supply of fuel during the pandemic had the project continued.
Several Republicans in Congress are still using the talking point.
"Biden canceled the Keystone Pipeline and forfeited U.S. energy independence," Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) wrote on Thursday. "Now, gas prices have skyrocketed. This is Biden’s energy crisis."
Rep. Ken Buck (R-CO) claimed on Monday that stopping the pipeline meant Biden was "hampering U.S. oil companies and making Americans pay more for energy." On Oct. 8, Rep. Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) said closing the pipeline "directly led to the energy crisis today." Rep. Drew Ferguson (R-GA) made a similar argument on Oct. 6.
Republicans and Fox News have been in sync on the Keystone claim, but the connection to current fuel prices is false.
In a June fact check, USA Today rated such allegations as "false," noting, "Canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and other energy policies enacted by Biden have a long-term effect on crude oil supply but no present impact on gasoline prices."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.