Biden’s top energy official grilled over Putin claim — Analysis
Republican representative points to administration’s own policies that have led to price hikes
As average gas prices in the US are expected to reach $6 per gallon by August according to American Automobile Association (AAA), Energy Sec Jennifer Granholm was grilled for pinning the blame on Vladimir Putin and Russia’s military operation in Ukraine.
US Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm was quizzed by Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, about record high gasoline prices. Hawley also asked what the Biden administration would do to lower them.
“I’m sure you’ve seen the reporting this morning,”Hawley saidThe AAA projects that gasoline prices will reach $6 per gallon on average by August. This is acceptable for you?
“No, it is not,”Granholm responded, adding: “you can thank the activity of Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine and pulling us..”
“Nonsense,”Hawley interrupts “With all due respect, Madam Secretary, that’s utter nonsense.”
Hawley explained that prices were already on the rise well before Russia launched it’s offensive in Ukraine, and that they have been steadily rising since August.
“In January of 2021, the average gas price in my state was $2.07. That price went up by more than 30 percent eight months later.
He then pressed the secretary on what the administration was planning to do to reverse policies that are reducing the country’s own energy supply and throttling oil and gas production.
Granholm tried to brush it off, saying that Biden’s policies were not responsible for affecting supply and demand before being once again interrupted by the Missouri senator who went into a tirade against the Biden administration, pinning the blame for the rising gas prices on the policies they have introduced since taking office.
“This is what your first president did in his office when he was elected.Hawley. He instantly re-entered Paris Climate Accord. He canceled Keystone Pipeline. He also halted lease programs in ANWR. In addition, he issued a sixty day halt to any new oil and natural gas leases or drilling permits on federal lands. This is 25% of US oil production. He ordered federal agencies to stop supporting fossil fuels and he instituted new oil and gas regulations and methane emission standards. These were just the beginning! Is that true?
The energy secretary then tried to point to a survey, which claimed that the majority of oil and gas executives believed Biden’s policies had “nothing to do with the increase in price of oil,”Hawley, however, interjected once more and stated that he did not care what the people thought of him but was interested only in facts.
“Is that your testimony? Is that your testimony? questioned Hawley, stating that Granholm’s answers were insulting and demanding that she give a clear answer as to what the administration is doing to lower gas prices.
Grahnolm responded by making a vague comment about the US Energy Department “calling for an increase in supply”Despite asking oil and gas companies domestically and internationally to increase their production, they didn’t give any details as to the actual process.
As the US’s average regular gallon gasoline price rises to $4.589 per day, the heated exchange is proving explosive. This surpasses previous record-setting days. Washington has insisted that the rising prices are solely the fault of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and President Joe Biden, as well as other US officials have repeatedly referred to it as the “Putin price hike”.
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