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Tipsheet

The Biden Admin Can't Get Their Gas Price Narrative Straight

AP Photo/David Zalubowski

When it comes to the Biden administration's mishandling of major issues, the attitude towards classified documents has certainly been front page news. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre only confirmed as much during Monday's press briefing, as Spencer covered. The day's briefing also featured remarks from Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm. 

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As the secretary joined Jean-Pierre at the podium, the latter introduced her with quite the narrative, claiming "House Republicans will vote to raise gas prices on American families" and that "the contrast in priorities could not be more stark." 

Other than condemning House Republicans and "their narrow majority," along with "big oil companies [that] are amassing record profits," Jean-Pierre had also been singing the praises of the Biden administration. When it comes to those "stark" priorities, "the press secretary claimed that "the president spent the last two years, as you know, doing everything he could to lower gas prices for American families, and prices are down about $1.60 a gallon since last summer."

Secretary Granholm also spoke of what the administration clearly sees as a figure worth bragging about. In fact, she got even more into it. "President Biden really has been singularly focused on reducing costs for American families, especially energy costs, especially both transportation as well as at home, whether it’s, you know, increasing the biofuel blends of gasoline to offering additional funds through weatherization for lowering costs for low- and moderate-income households," she claimed. 

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Another talking point is that gas prices are high because of Russia's invasion of Ukraine--as in it's someone else's fault--despite how gas prices had been increasing under the Biden administration even beforehand. Russia didn't invade Ukraine until February 2022, when the president had been in office for just over a year. 

"The average price of a gallon of gas is now down about $1.60 from last summer’s peak, about a 30 percent decline.  And, in fact, prices are lower today--gas prices are--than what they were at the start of Russia’s invasion," Granholm mentioned in her remarks. She later doubled down on more forcefully blaming the Russian invasion when it comes to global resources. 

And, President Joe Biden himself tweeted out a similar claim from his official account on Monday. 

There's a lot to unpack. In addition to the distorted timeline on rising gas prices, gas prices were at a record high under Biden's presidency. If one is going to brag and compare numbers, gas was $2.284 in December 2020, shortly before former President Donald Trump left office. 

Further, as our friends at Twitchy highlighted, gas prices are rising again, despite what Granholm, Biden, and the rest of the administration want to celebrate, and have celebrated in the past. 

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The tweet in question came from Gas Buddy's Patrick De Baan, whom reportedly outgoing White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain loves to retweet, when the narrative is in his boss' favor. 

And, according to AAA gas prices, gas prices are indeed going up when it comes to the national average price per gallon. 

Not letting the facts get in the way of his narrative, Biden subsequently tweeted about the Russian invasion while defending his actions of depleting the petroleum reserve used in times of emergency. 

That's why Sec. Granholm and the Biden administration are so hellbent on fighting the legislation, despite how the president has been depleting it like a drunken sailor so as to have something to sell to the American people as success.

The legislation in question refers to H.R. 21, the Strategic Production Response Act, which was introduced on January 9, 2023, by Rep. Catherine McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). The bill describes itself as one that "limits the drawdown of petroleum in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve until the Department of Energy develops a plan to increase the percentage of federal lands leased for oil and gas production."

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As Granholm put it, though, the bill "needlessly aims to weaken the Strategic Petroleum Reserve’s usefulness as a tool to ensure energy security in America." She went on to claim that the bill "would impose unnecessary, unhelpful restrictions on when the SPR can be used to help provide supply" and "would not offer any tangible benefits to the American people."

It wasn't enough for Granholm to tout Biden's actions on energy, she also celebrated the misnamed "Inflation Reduction Act," by claiming it "is already reducing costs."

For the president and his administration to blame others is not exactly surprising, but it certainly is rich. If anyone is looking to "weaken" a "critical energy security option," it's Biden and his administration. Let's not forget that on his first day in office, just over two years ago now, he signed an executive order halting the Keystone XL pipeline, while he and fellow Democrats remain stubborn in opposing Republican efforts to get it going again. 

Just earlier this month, as Spencer covered, a report was quietly released by the Department of Energy admitting how canceling the project killed jobs. The "estimates for the jobs created during the construction phase of the KXL pipeline ranged from 16,149 to 59,468 annually for a two-year period," but those jobs never came to be. 

The same goes for H.R. 21, with Granholm making clear that Biden will veto it. "He will not allow the American people to suffer because of the backwards agenda that House Republicans are advancing," as Granholm put it. 

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With Biden continuously draining from the reserves to critically low crisis levels, with no end in sight, it's clear that he needs accountability. Unfortunately, the administration would rather focus on gaslighting, desperately seeking a win however they can get it. 

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