A Democrat operative famously said “a crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” and clearly President Joe Biden takes this to heart. Biden exploited the tragic catastrophe of Hurricane Ian to take potshots at the oil and gas industry.
Once again illustrating his lack of knowledge of how economics works, Biden instructed oil and gas companies not to use the hurricane as an excuse to “gouge the American people,” as Ian approached. (RELATED: TROTTER And SCHALK: Biden’s Finger Pointing At Gas Stations Shows His Policies Aren’t Rooted In Reality)
Biden, speaking at a totally unrelated event, a White House Conference on Hunger, Nutrition, and Health, said “This small, temporary storm impact on oil production provides no excuse — no excuse — for price increases at the pump.” Talk about condensing, dismissing with the flick of his wrist the suffering of millions of Floridians as “small.”
Biden continued, “If companies try to use this storm to raise prices at the pump, I will ask officials to look into whether price gouging is going on.”
Translation: Biden is scared to death that an act of God in the form of a hurricane might derail his party’s prospects at The Ballot Box in November. Gas prices have dipped slightly over the summer, but that’s in part because Biden depleted the Strategic Petroleum Reserves for his own personal approval ratings.
The oil and gas industry tried to educate Biden.
“Gasoline prices are determined by market forces — not individual companies — and claims that the price at the pump is anything but a function of supply and demand are false,” a spokesperson for oil company trade association American Petroleum Institute told Politico via email.
The American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers association also told Politico “the onshore effects of the storm itself would be the biggest factor in fuel prices.”
“Our country has seen time and again that major storms and often-correlated runs on gas stations can have a swift impact on prices,” AFPM spokesperson Ericka Perryman said in an email. “Already in Florida, some key areas are functioning with roughly 20 percent of retail stations either out of gas or out of power. That means there is less supply overall and some temporary inability to access supplies in certain Florida communities where there is, at present, heightened local demand.”
Rather than calling out Biden for his false claims like this one about oil and gas price gouging, the media is complicit.
A Media Research Center analysis found that “over his first 20 months in office, Biden had 58 fact-checks, while Biden critics were checked 338 times. Overall, there were 5.8 fact checks of Biden critics for every one of the president.”
The role of a properly functioning media is to serve as a check on government power, not an enabler of government falsehoods.
Instead of reducing regulation, improving the leasing process for oil and gas and drilling and controlling inflation-inducing spending, Biden is using the oil industry as his piñata, even as families continue to suffer under record inflation.
Carrie Sheffield is a senior policy analyst at Independent Women’s Voice.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.
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