Ocasio-Cortez Slams GOP Senator for Saying Gas Prices Were Lower Under Trump

On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez shot again at Republicans who had been complaining about excessive gasoline costs, mentioning the flawed logic of evaluating present costs to costs below the Trump administration through the early days of the pandemic.

Over the weekend, Sen. Marsha Blackburn, a Republican from Tennessee, wrote, “Underneath President Trump, gasoline was about $2.17 in 2020.” Whereas gasoline costs were indeed low in 2020 in comparison with earlier years, that they had taken a plunge after a nationwide emergency was declared in March, and stayed comparatively low for the remainder of the yr as people drove significantly less through the starting of the pandemic.

Ocasio-Cortez pointed to this very important context in her reply to Blackburn on Twitter. “Perhaps that has one thing to do with the truth that everybody within the nation was quarantining whereas 350,000 individuals died and COVID vaccines weren’t out but,” the New York lawmaker mentioned.

She then referred to as out Republicans who’ve been complaining about gasoline costs over the previous months. “Unemployment additionally hit 14.8 p.c in 2020, the best charge ever seen within the US since knowledge assortment started,” she mentioned. “Does the Senator wish to soar to say that as Trump’s legacy too? Or would we quite study context and knowledge like adults?”

Circumstances in 2020 had been so excessive, in actual fact, that oil buying and selling costs briefly fell into the negatives weeks after the pandemic hit the U.S.

Different Democrats additionally criticized Blackburn for blatantly ignoring context in her tweet. “Sure! Low gasoline costs was a pleasant upside consequence of the cataclysmic 2020 financial meltdown,” wrote Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Connecticut).

Almost immediately after President Joe Biden took workplace, Republicans started blaming him for rising gasoline costs, citing local weather insurance policies and low oil and gasoline manufacturing. However the overwhelming majority of Biden’s proposed local weather insurance policies have been blocked by conservatives in the Senate, and the administration is sadly for the local weather producing oil and pure gasoline at near-record levels. There’s additionally little proof that upping production would decrease gasoline costs.

Republicans and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) have also blamed Biden for prime gasoline costs due to his revocation of the allow for the Keystone XL pipeline. However the pipeline wouldn’t even have been constructed by now, and research have discovered that it truly would have elevated gasoline costs within the Midwest and never affected costs nationwide.

Though retail costs have been reaching highs just lately, experts say that there’s little Biden can do about it. On Tuesday, Biden announced that his administration is banning Russian oil imports, one of many few actions he can take that might probably impression gasoline costs however nonetheless, the vast majority of U.S. crude oil imports come from different nations.

Although the ban may increase gasoline costs, Republicans have been calling for this ban and bans on imports from other countries. These bans would serve a twin function for the GOP; Republicans may continue to call for more drilling within the U.S. and prop up the oil business in response to the invasion, whereas additionally blaming Biden for prime gasoline costs which will outcome from the bans.

As Biden has identified, nevertheless, among the blame for prime gasoline costs falls on oil firms themselves. Late final yr, Biden asked the Federal Commerce Fee to analyze whether or not or not oil and gasoline firms are driving up gasoline costs on the pump with the intention to pad their earnings.

Certainly, within the month that Biden made his request, the value of unfinished gasoline was down 5 percent — however gasoline costs rose 3 p.c. Across the identical time, pure gasoline exporters had been purposefully sending gas abroad with the intention to restrict provide and lift costs. All of the whereas, fossil fuel companies’ profits soared.

In response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion, Biden warned oil and gasoline firms to not use the disaster as an excuse to boost costs. In the meantime, lawmakers like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and climate activists have referred to as for a windfall tax on oil firm earnings through the disaster to discourage them from artificially inflating costs.