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Wednesday, May 25, 2022
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Cruz Blames Biden for High Gas Prices

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Ted Cruz | Image by Trevor Collens

Texas Senator Ted Cruz penned for The Dallas Morning News an Op-Ed that claims the Biden administration is responsible for the sky-high price of gasoline in the United States.

The sentiment Cruz offers has been echoed by other Republicans, including Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA), who sent an email blast in March making similar claims.

Citing data from AAA, Cruz and other Republicans claim that gas prices averaged $2.38 per gallon on the day President Joe Biden took office and have risen continuously since to a current, record-setting price of $4.32.

Data from the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA) supports these numbers and provides a counter to claims made by Democrats and the Biden administration that the rise is the result of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

“Today, I want to talk about one aspect of Putin’s war that affects and has real effects on the American people: Putin’s price hike that Americans and our allies are feeling at the pump,” Biden said in a speech on March 31, 2022.

EIA data shows that the U.S. average was $3.624 per gallon the week of the Ukrainian invasion, an increase of nearly $1.20 per gallon since Biden took office. Data showed this is a steeper rise than that at any point during the previous three presidential terms.

During Trump’s presidency, the national average price for gasoline peaked at $3.018 per gallon in May 2018 before dropping off to a low of

Data shows that the price of fuel in the U.S. was rising as the country returned to more normal operations, but gasoline prices did not stabilize to pre-pandemic levels. The current price of gasoline on average in the U.S. is the highest ever recorded, even exceeding the peak of 2008.

Cruz states that not only is the rising cost of fuel an issue for Americans, but it negatively impacts the oil and gasoline industries in Texas. He cited comments made by then-candidate Biden as indicators that the administration is deliberately targeting the oil and gas industry as part of the “New Green Deal” movement.

“No more drilling on federal lands. No more drilling, including offshore. No ability for the oil industry to continue to drill. Period. It ends, number one,” Biden said during the Democratic Presidential Debate.

Cruz claims that Biden has kept his campaign promise by increasing restrictions and forcing oil companies to stop drilling for oil, which he says has increased the costs of domestic and imported goods. The EIA data shows that the amount of oil refined in the Gulf hit a historic low in February 2021, though it has since increased.

As has been widely discussed, one of the first actions taken by the Biden administration was canceling the permits that allowed for the construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, authorized by Trump after decades of red tape. The pipeline would have carried crude oil from Northern Canada to refineries in Texas along the Gulf Coast. Cruz claims that this decision caused a decline in oil speculation and a price increase.

In the following days and months, Biden canceled drilling permits on federal land, which accounted for 25% of American energy production, removed significant portions of public land from production, and revoked licensing for oil drilling on the North Slope in Alaska. Cruz claims this last decision takes a potential 16 billion barrels of oil off the table, a sum nearly as great as that of the oil produced from the U.S. Gulf in the last 70 years.

Executive action by the Biden administration also caused the cancellation of new natural gas pipeline projects. Natural gas is considered a more environmentally-efficient fuel source than coal and fossil fuels and powers nearly half of the nation’s power plants.

Cruz blames these decisions on proponents of the “Green New Deal.” According to the Council on Foreign Relations, the policy focuses on a government-led, society-wide national mobilization reminiscent of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

Biden quick after being sworn in as president reported global warming was a concern for the Pentagon.

“When I first was elected vice president with President Obama, the military sat us down to let us know what the greatest threats facing America were. This is not a joke: you know what the Joint Chiefs told us the greatest threat facing America was? Global warming,” said Biden. “Because there’ll be significant population movements, fights over land, millions of people leaving places because they’re literally sinking below the sea in Indonesia, because of the fights over what is arable land anymore.”

Cruz stated that Biden put pressure on the U.S. Secretary of Energy by holding up the confirmation of an Energy Department nominee to force action on renewing leases to move natural gas from Texas and Louisiana to other parts of the country, getting his desired results in about two weeks.

“We have the resources and ability to produce clean, affordable energy in America in a way that eludes Russia, China and Venezuela. The Biden administration knows this, and yet stymies production instead of encouraging it,” Cruz wrote.

“Republicans will continue to press Biden and his administration to change their disastrous course, for the sake of millions of Americans struggling because of high energy prices and for our national security.”      

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