GOP lawmakers are mad that Biden is releasing some of the federal petroleum supply to reduce fuel costs ahead of the holidays.
For months, Republicans in Congress have been complaining that President Joe Biden isn't doing enough to reduce energy prices. Now, they are attacking him for taking too much action to reduce energy prices.
Biden announced Tuesday that he will release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation's Strategic Petroleum Reserves and that other countries have agreed to make similar moves, in an effort to lower gasoline prices and curb inflation before the holidays.
"President Biden's decision to tap America's strategic reserves—which will release just 3 days' worth of oil onto the market—is not about a real solution to our energy crisis," tweeted House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy. "It is a crass political ploy just 3 days ahead of Thanksgiving."
"Joe Biden is only pretending to care about the cost of gas because his poll numbers have collapsed," charged Arkansas Sen. Tom Cotton.
Louisiana Rep. Garret Graves accused Biden of "doubling down on stupid and exacerbating a crisis with another bad policy."
"American consumers are feeling the impact of elevated gas prices at the pump and in their home heating bills, and American businesses are, too, because oil supply has not kept up with demand as the global economy emerges from the pandemic," the Biden administration said in a press release. "That's why President Biden is using every tool available to him to work to lower prices and address the lack of supply."
It noted that the president "stands ready to take additional action, if needed, and is prepared to use his full authorities working in coordination with the rest of the world to maintain adequate supply as we exit the pandemic."
Biden's action came after Republicans have complained for months that gas prices are higher now than they were a year ago — when demand was way down due to people staying home to curb the spread of COVID-19. They have falsely claimed that this is somehow the president's fault.
"The cost of gasoline has surged to the highest price since 2014, a time when Biden was last serving in office," McCarthy (R-CA) said in July. "President Biden's disastrous energy policies have decimated American energy independence and increased costs for the American people."
"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," petroleum analyst Patrick De Haan told a Washington, D.C., radio station in October.
Experts also predict that international efforts to release more oil will help reduce costs a bit in the short term.
While the GOP has blamed Biden for the rising costs of fossil fuels, it has also fought against his efforts to increase the availability of clean, renewable energy.
Last week, House Republicans unanimously opposed his $1.75 trillion Build Back Better jobs package. If enacted, it would invest $555 billion in clean energy and climate change infrastructure in what the administration calls "the largest single investment in our clean energy economy in history, across buildings, transportation, industry, electricity, agriculture, and climate-smart practices across lands and waters."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.