WASHINGTON, DC – In a case of not reading the room, both Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg have shown how out of touch with the American people that the Biden administration has become.
Buttigieg said during a press conference Monday that the American people could combat rising gas prices and a faltering economy by purchasing an electric vehicle. The comment could not have been any more ill-timed. “Mayor Pete” told reporters:
“(Americans from) rural to suburban to urban communities can all benefit from the gas savings of driving an EV.”
This is beyond parody. Joe Biden is Marie Antoinette. “They can’t afford gas? Let them buy electric vehicles.” How does nobody at the WH understand how out of touch this is? https://t.co/CxXFQtOfO6
— Deep Goat (@deepgoatdc) March 9, 2022
Gas prices this week hit record levels while the American economy remained stalled following the long pandemic. The raging war in Ukraine threatens to further strain gas prices as the U.S. banned imports of Russian fuel on March 8.
The increase in gas demand and a reduction in total supply is contributing to rising prices at the pump, but skyrocketing oil prices are playing an increasingly large role. The price of benchmark U.S. crude jumped to over $130 per barrel.
GasBuddy analyst Patrick De Haan predicted all-time record highs in the national average at the pumps:
“Forget the $4 per gallon mark, the nation will soon set new all-time record highs and we could push closer to a national average of $4.50.
“We’ve never been in this situation before, with this level of uncertainty. … Americans will be feeling the pain of the rise in prices for quite some time.”
https://t.co/9xL46ZK0ub. Why would the government give a crap? It doesn't effect them. Another reason this administration has no clue what to do.
As gas prices skyrocket, Americans are cutting back and economic growth will slow. Lower-income households are especially hard hit.
— Ben (@b_legend775) March 11, 2022
The Biden administration has been touting electric vehicles and “green energy” since the 2020 presidential campaign. The President also cancelled the Keystone XL pipeline, which would have taken pressure off the gas market by providing a pathway for Canadian oil to flow into the U.S.
The Keystone XL pipeline was a proposed extension to the existing Keystone Pipeline that would have travelled from Hardisty, Canada down to Steele City, Nebraska. From there, oil would be transported via existing pipelines to refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast to be turned into petroleum.
President Biden cancelled the pipeline project on his first day in office. Representative Jake LaTurner (R-Kansas) called that decision a mistake:
“This (Keystone Pipeline) project would have produced 830,000 barrels of oil per day, more than enough to offset what we import from Russia.”
Rep. Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) joined in the criticism:
“We import 595,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia. The Keystone XL pipeline would have produced 830,000 barrels per day.
“Relying on Russian oil is a choice. And it’s a stupid one.’
We import 595,000 barrels of oil per day from Russia.
The Keystone XL pipeline would have produced 830,000 barrels per day.
Relying on Russian oil is a choice. And it’s a stupid one.
— Dan Crenshaw (@DanCrenshawTX) February 23, 2022
Adding to the absurdity of Buttigieg’s comments on people reducing pain at the pump by purchasing electric vehicles is simply the cost. An average electric vehicle comes at a sticker price of about $50,000. In addition, electric vehicles require raw materials including cobalt and lithium for their expensive batteries.
These raw materials are obtained from countries including Russia and China, creating another reliance on hostile, or at least, troublesome sources.
Despite these challenges, Buttigieg made a bizarre claim:
“Clean transportation can bring significant cost savings for the American people as well.
“Today is about how we can deliver cleaner air, a better climate, affordable transportation, and good jobs all at once.”
During a normal moment in time, the comments would be condescending on the millions of Americans trying to make ends meet. Add the stresses of war, uncertainty, and a damaged economy, and the comments become insulting.
Radio host Erick Erickson compared Buttigieg’s comments to the historical reference of the late French queen Marie Antoinette’s fabled comments to the poor who had no bread to eat, “Let them eat cake:”:
I mean yes, we really should be banning Russian oil imports. But we really should be opening up American energy production. Buttigieg doing his Marie Antoinette "Let they have EVs" impression is ripe for attack.
— Erick Erickson (@EWErickson) March 8, 2022
Not to be outdone, Vice President Harris stepped up to the podium to outdo her former presidential rival. During the press conference touting the first anniversary of the Democrats’ $1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan, said that America was on the verge of a new “green” economy led by electric vehicles, and that Americas can be “unburdened” by purchasing an electric vehicle, without any explanation as to how they are going to pay for one.
Vice President Harris said, with no mention of gas prices:
“That’s why we’re here today. Because we have the ability to see what can be unburdened by what has been and then to make the possible actually happen.
“Our transportation sector has reached a turning point. We are all in the midst of a turning point. We have the technology to transition to a zero-emission fleet. Our administration together, all of us, is working to make that possibility a reality.
“We can clean our air and protect the health of our children. We can connect all our communities for affordable, accessible, and reliable public transportation. We can address the climate crisis and grow our economy at the same time.”
The complete misreading of the current economic situation affecting Americans across the United States by the Biden administration, and the dire outlook for the country’s near future, led to heckling and outrage on social media.
Rep. Markwayne Mullin (R-OK) called the Vice President and the Transportation Secretary “tone deaf”:
“Vice President Kamala Harris and DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg spent the afternoon promoting electric vehicles and Green New Deal policies. Are you kidding me?
“The Biden Administration could not be more tone deaf.”
Vice President Kamala Harris and DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg spent the afternoon promoting electric vehicles and Green New Deal policies. Are you kidding me?
The Biden Administration could not be more tone deaf.
— Markwayne Mullin (@RepMullin) March 7, 2022
RNC Research pointed out the high cost for an electric vehicle:
“Pete Buttigieg: Upset with near-record gas prices? Too bad. Buy an electric vehicle.
“The average cost of an electric vehicle is over $55,000.”
Pete Buttigieg: Upset with near-record gas prices? Too bad. Buy an electric vehicle.
(The average cost of an electric vehicle is over $55,000) pic.twitter.com/VjBvhx4RGd
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) March 7, 2022
GOP Communications Strategist Andrew Clark posted a meme as a visual representation of his view of Buttigieg’s touting electric vehicles for suffering Americans:
This is a meme but its also literally what Buttigieg said today pic.twitter.com/8oxUmjjYjO
— Andrew Clark (@AndrewHClark) March 8, 2022
Townhall.com made a comparison between the Biden administration’s out-of-touch approach and former President Donald Trump’s foreshadowing during the 2020 presidential campaign:
“Trump in 2020: ‘If Biden got in, you’d be paying $7, $8, $9. Then they’d say get rid of your car!’
“Pete Buttigieg this week: ‘If gas prices are too high, just buy an electric car!’”
Trump in 2020: "If Biden got in, you'd be paying $7, $8, $9. Then they'd say 'get rid of your car!'"
Pete Buttigieg this week: If gas prices are too high, just buy an electric car! pic.twitter.com/6xGcptsKD3
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) March 8, 2022
The administration could work toward green energy solutions while strengthening our domestic fossil fuel supply. Instead, Americans face the real costs of an oblivious government using claims of climate change to disrupt the supply of domestic fossil fuels while placing great financial and real costs on the American people.
‘Why are we importing Russian oil, Joe?’ VA’s new Lt. Gov. Sears urges Biden to re-open oil production
March 3, 2022
WASHINGTON, DC – Winsome Sears, Virginia’s new lieutenant governor, is calling on President Joe Biden to ramp up U.S. oil production and capability amid Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine.
While appearing on Tuesday’s broadcast of FNC’s “Fox & Friends,” Sears reminded viewers that Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline during his first day in office.
She urged him to restore production on the pipeline and rethink his overall energy policy.
Perhaps trying to prick a patriotic reaction, Sears asked, basically, why he deliberately chose to make the United States dependent on the world’s heavies to fuel the nation. She said:
“[Y]ou see, we don’t live on this planet by ourselves, Mr. President. You have Russia. You have China. You have North Korea. You have all of them. And so, you must call on people who will make demands of you to understand whether America is all ready for all comers.
“So, we need to find that out. Why won’t you reopen the Keystone pipeline? Why won’t you stop? As a matter of fact, we are importing energy from Russia. You know, why are we doing that? We have the means to produce it here.”
Sears went to the heart of the matter, adding:
“We were free from depending on outside countries for our energy, and as soon as he came into office, his first day, he killed the Keystone pipeline, killed all those jobs and all the other attendant jobs with it.
So, we can be energy independent, and it depends on this president. And instead, he is telling other countries like Saudi Arabia to release more oil, more barrels. Really? Why don’t you take care of what have you command of, Mr. President, here?”
In 2021, the United States imported an average of 209,000 barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and 500,000 bpd of other petroleum products from Russia, according to the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers trade association.
Sears isn’t the only Republican elected official criticizing Biden over his energy policies amid the turmoil in Ukraine caused by Russian aggression.
The sanctions imposed on Russia for its war with Ukraine have not included oil and gas exports, a step that would severely damage Russia’s ability to generate revenue.
Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman urged Biden this week to shut down oil imports from Russia to the United States. Stitt said:
A letter urging Biden to institute an immediate embargo on Russian energy exports was sent March 1 to the president by U.S. Reps. Tom Cole of Oklahoma and U.S. Sens. Jerry Moran and Roger Marshall of Kansas.
Senator Portman said it doesn’t make sense to import Russian oil after Biden used an executive order to shut down the Keystone XL Pipeline to combat climate change. Keystone XL would have transported 800,000 barrels of oil per day from Canada to U.S. refineries along the Gulf Coast.
“So, here we are cutting off our own North American energy supply while helping Russia by buying their oil.”
In the Republican response to the State of the Union address, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds referenced the need and desire for the United States to increase production and regain the energy independence and low prices enjoyed under President Donald Trump.
Oil prices have soared since Russia invaded neighboring Ukraine on Feb. 24. Oil prices rose Wednesday despite an agreement of the International Energy Agency to release 60 million barrels from strategic reserves to stabilize supply.
Benchmark U.S. crude jumped $5.09 to $108.45 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, following a jump of $7.69 on Tuesday to $103.41. per barrel.
Under President Trump, the United States was exporting oil to other countries and was building the Keystone XL pipeline to benefit both the United States and Canada.
But that Executive Order on Day 1 of the Biden Administration signaled an end to America’s energy independence.
With the stroke of a pen, Biden put a “temporary” ban on drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which would have increased capacity of the Alaskan pipeline, and halted an 80 million-acre oil lease sale, putting the Louisiana oil and gas industry in danger.
From the moment he took office, Biden has undermined U.S. energy independence. Soaring gas prices and helping to fund Russia’s war are the result. And he wonders why Americans are depressed.
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