Republicans are criticizing President Joe Biden for gas prices rising across the country, blaming his anti-fossil fuel energy agenda and the cyberattack on a large gas pipeline on the East Coast.
Some people on the East Coast are struggling to find gas due to the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack, which has cut off the oil supply in many areas. The price of gasoline at the pump has jumped $1.05 higher than it was a year ago, to $3.02 per gallon, and it is continuing to rise.
“Joe Biden is the new Jimmy Carter,” Republican Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted Tuesday, blaming Biden for “rising gas prices” and comparing 2021 to 1979, when a global energy crisis caused by a drop in oil production nearly doubled the price of gas.
Republicans are also criticizing Biden's energy policies, such as his push toward renewable fuel sources and his decision to kill the Keystone XL pipeline, which environmentalists cheered.
“It's time for Biden to admit he was wrong, apologize to the workers whose jobs he destroyed, and reverse his decision to cancel the Keystone pipeline. Energy security matters,” Republican Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas said on Twitter.
The increase in gas prices is not unique to Biden. There was significant volatility in gas prices during former President Donald Trump's time in office as well, including hitting peaks of $2.89 in April 2019, $2.88 in October 2018, and $2.94 in June 2018, according to the Energy Information Administration.
The Biden administration said it was responding to the pipeline attack.
“The President has directed agencies across the Federal Government to bring their resources to bear to help alleviate shortages where they may occur,” the White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Monday night.
The administration in the past two days has taken steps to blunt the effects of the pipeline shutdown. The Environmental Protection Agency issued an emergency fuel waiver on Tuesday for states affected by the pipeline shutdown. The action, which waives certain fuel vapor pressure requirements, will last for a week.
The administration has also issued a waiver to allow truck drivers to spend more time than normal driving on the road in order to transport fuel across the East Coast.
Republicans are keen to use the gas price hike as an opportunity to find fault with the Biden administration.
“Either gas prices are going up, or there's no gas at all. Thanks, President Biden,” said Republican Mark Walker, a former North Carolina representative who is now running for the state's open Senate seat in 2022.
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