Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto pressed Democratic Illinois Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi on Thursday about the recent uptick in gas prices.
Cavuto asked Krishnamoorthi about who should take responsibility for the rise in gas prices in states across the country, as the national average price per gallon of regular gasoline rose from $3.78 one week ago to just under $3.87 on Oct. 6, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA).
“The administration was taking a bow when they were going down, do you think the administration should bear responsibility now that they’re going up?” Cavuto asked.
“I think that the most recent increase in gas prices is partly due to this production cut in Saudi Arabia, but it’s also due to a dramatic decline in refining capacity and so I have asked the Biden administration, I asked yesterday again for the third time, to invoke the Defense Production Act to make sure that we can stand up adequate refining capacity to refine as much crude oil as possible into gasoline, increasing gas supplies and reducing prices at the pump.”
The Fox News host said that refining capacities are at an all-time high, but there are many areas in the country to refine oil. The representative said the nation’s refining capacity is down by two million barrels per day in October, but there are going to be more opportunities to drill on public lands due to the Inflation Reduction Act. (RELATED: Doocy Asks Jean-Pierre Point-Blank If Biden Is Responsible For The Rise In Gas Prices)
“We’re not doing all of the above, right, we’re not,” Cavuto said. “The problem is Germany is, even looking at nuclear and coal, France is looking more these days at coal, Italy, the United Kingdom, but we’re not.”
“Well today we’re actually drilling 11.3 million barrels per day of oil and gas compared to roughly 11 million barrels per day under the Trump administration so we’re going at full tilt on oil and gas,” Krishnamoorthi responded.
“But the average in the Trump administration you allude to, sir, is an average of his four years in office and doesn’t include COVID. Take that out and you’re well below those levels,” Cavuto pushed back.
He then asked if the oil and gas industry is validly frustrated with the Biden administration as they strive to replace the industry with clean energy and oppose drilling on public lands. The representative said the Inflation Reduction Act will guarantee additional drilling on public lands. The legislation intends to fund $370 billion in green energy.
“Well actually it’s just a fraction of the available lands that are ready,” Cavuto argued. “Isn’t that the issue that it’s not nearly enough and you talk about the energy availability from that, it’s being litigated now by environmental groups. A quarter of that land that you were opening up is now being fought by environmentalist groups that could keep this hanging out for years.”
“I respectfully disagree with anybody who says that we should go against what the Inflation Reduction Act says,” Krishnamoorthi said.
“I don’t mean to be rude here but I don’t know what the Inflation Reduction Act says to the legality of someone filing a lawsuit against an industry and a quarter of leases that are up for grabs including those provided under this new agreement,” Cavuto interrupted. “If you’re being litigated against, you’re being sued for trying to act on that, the industry’s hands are tied.”
Krishnamoorthi argued that the legislation requires for additional permitting to be accessible for oil, gas and renewable energy. He then said that the goal is to “stabilize” and increase energy production of all kinds and repeated that refining capacity needs to be raised.