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Tipsheet

'Struggling to Cope': 11 Democrat Senators Are Fed Up with Biden's Gas Prices

AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File

Joe Biden took the helm of an America that was energy independent and a net exporter of petroleum products and turned it into a country where a gas shortage nearly spun out of control, critical energy infrastructure projects are killed off, and inflation has driven up fuel prices for Americans' homes and vehicles to levels not seen since in more than six years. 

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Now that Americans are in the mess he created, he's still dragging his feet when it comes to action that might help alleviate some of the pain he's caused the country's citizens and nearly one dozen Democrats in Congress have had enough. 

In a letter sent to the President on Monday, 11 Democratic U.S. Senators made their plea to Biden: "consider all tools available at your disposal to lower U.S. gasoline prices" including "a release from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and a ban on crude oil exports."

Signed by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Bob Casey (D-PA), Patrick Leahy (D-VT), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Ed Markey (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Chris Van Hollen (D-MA), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH), the letter points out that AAA shows the "national price for a gallon of gasoline is the highest it has been since 2014, with an increase of more than $1 per gallon since this time last year." 

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With less than one year left before the 2022 midterm elections, the Democrat signatories — some of whom will be on ballots next November — added that "in our home states, high gasoline prices have placed an undue burden on families and small businesses trying to make ends meet, and have proven especially burdensome as our constituents continue to recover from the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic."

The Democrat senators also say that they share Biden's sentiment — as expressed at the U.N. climate summit in Glasgow during his recent European trip — that "as the United States works to boost the development of clean and renewable energy over the long-term, we must ensure that Americans are able to afford to fill up their cars at the pump in the meantime."

Keeping gas and energy prices affordable for Americans is something that does not seem to be top of mind for President Biden. Instead, as Leah reported recently, the president may be getting ready to close yet another pipeline that transports critical energy supplies even as winter weather begins to drive up demand:

News that the administration "was quietly studying the potential market impact of killing" Enbridge’s Line 5, which transports 540,000 barrels per day of light crude oil and natural gas liquids from Superior, Wisconsin, to Sarnia, Ontario, which is then refined into propane, was first reported by Politico and has led to fierce pushback from Republican lawmakers.

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Cutting off Line 5, as Leah highlighted, is not a popular idea among residents in the Midwest. Lawmakers in the region sent a letter of their own to President Biden with a plea not to kill the pipeline that "is essential to the lifeblood of the Midwest."

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