Wicker: Gas Prices Skyrocket on Biden’s Watch
Published 4:00 am Wednesday, March 16, 2022
By U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker | Guest Columnist
When President Biden took office, Mississippians were paying $1.88 for a gallon of gasoline.
Today, we are fast approaching $4 per gallon after just 14 months under his leadership. The President has blamed Vladimir Putin’s unprovoked war on Ukraine for the latest price increase, but gas prices had already been soaring long before Russia invaded. President Biden needs to admit that his anti-energy agenda is the main reason we are all paying more at the pump.
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President Biden’s hostile plans for American energy came into view in 2019 when he told his far-left supporters, “I guarantee you, we are going to end fossil fuel.”
Since taking office, he has been working overtime to cut production of U.S. oil, natural gas, and coal. Last year, he ended the Keystone XL pipeline project, halted new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters, banned drilling in oil-rich parts of Alaska, and rejoined the Paris Climate Agreement, all of which will kill American energy jobs. These decisions have driven up energy costs and made it harder for us to absorb recent price surges stemming from Putin’s war in Ukraine.
The President has received bipartisan support for his recent decision to ban Russian energy imports to the United States. Yet I am troubled that he still refuses to provide Americans relief at the pump by ending his anti-energy policies. Instead of taking full advantage of our abundant energy resources here at home, President Biden is now asking foreign dictators to produce more oil on our behalf.
This past week, Biden officials met with Venezuela’s socialist dictator, Nicolás Maduro, in the hopes of lifting an oil embargo placed on Venezuela in the wake of its fraudulent 2018 election. Ending this embargo would enrich a tyrant who has rigged his own elections and promoted violence against his political opponents. The White House also tried to arrange talks with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates to boost their oil production, but they would not take the President’s call. Perhaps worst of all, Biden officials are reportedly in the final stages of reviving the Iran nuclear deal, which would allow Iran once again to sell oil on the global market – resulting in a huge windfall for the world’s largest state sponsor of terror. President Biden would apparently rather enrich dictators than allow more oil to be produced here in America. It seems his crusade is not against fossil fuel, just American fossil fuel.
On the home front, President Biden is resorting to Band-Aid solutions to try to hide the damaging effects of his anti-energy agenda. Last fall, he announced the release of 50 million barrels of oil from our Strategic Petroleum Reserve — barely enough to supply our nation for 2.5 days. More recently, he announced the release of another 30 million barrels. Predictably, neither decision has managed to put a serious dent in gas prices.
Democrats in Congress are now pushing for a national gas tax holiday, which would expire at the end of the year. President Obama gave a fitting response to a similar proposal back in 2008: “This isn’t an idea designed to get you through the summer, it’s designed to get you through an election.”
The only real solution to this self-imposed energy crisis is for President Biden to end his war on American energy.
U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker has served as the senior senator for Mississippi since 2007.