Department of Transportation. Pete Buttigieg suggested on Tuesday that other priorities are more important than lowering gas prices as he claimed that prices are at the pump “outside the direct control of any political figure.”
If we’re really talking about the bottom line, balancing the checkbook of an American family, there’s a lot more that’s under our control than the dynamics of global oil markets at a time when it’s an oil-producing country, centering the blame for gas prices of over $4 a gallon on Vladimir, said Buttigieg. Putin to invade Ukraine.
He noted that the “long-term solution” to high gas prices is renewable energy.
“It’s still important to keep the options open,” Buttigieg said of cutting gas prices. “Of course the long-term solution to that is energy independence and a shift to renewable energy here in this country.”
Gas prices had already skyrocketed long before Putin’s invasion—in November, Biden released 50 million barrels of oil to ease prices that, at the time, reached $3.39 a gallon, up $1.27 from a year earlier.
In a historic shift, the United States became a net energy exporter for the first time in decades in 2019. It held that status again in 2020, but in 2021 it consumed about 1 billion barrels of oil more than it produced. Crude oil imports from Russia increased 162 percent in Biden’s first year in office, from 28 million barrels annually to 73 million.
However, the United States is only dependent on Russia for between 3 and 5% of its crude oil, but Europe is much more dependent, which exacerbates the cost of the pump around the world.
Let’s also remember that while oil prices and gas prices are famous things largely outside the direct control of any political figure, there are plenty of things we can do now that would bring immediate relief to America’s pocketbooks. Families whose gas bill is greater than most of any family.
If we’re really talking about the bottom line, balancing the checkbook of an American family, there are a lot more things that are under our control than the dynamics of global oil markets at a time when it’s an oil-producing country.
This includes lowering the cost of insulin. The president’s got a lot going for him undoing. Bringing down the cost of child care – we’re all for it, we get a lot of pushback, often from the same people who criticize us for inflation or gas prices. We had the kids tax credit…which for many families, probably most, probably outweighs the price difference you see with gas. We wanted to extend it a lot from the same people on the hill who criticize us killed it.
Part of President Biden’s now-defunct Build Back Better plan would have been to make the child tax credit permanent, subsidize child care, and lower prescription drug costs. The $1.75 trillion social and climate spending plan collapsed when Sen. Joe Manchin, Deutsche Welle. Virginia, join every Republican in the Senate in opposing the bill.
Gas prices now average $4.32 a gallon — up from $2.86 a year ago — and Republicans have blamed President Biden for policies they say have ‘killed’ the US oil and gas industry – by canceling the Keystone XL pipeline, shutting down oil and gas the new. Federal land leases and the removal of subsidies from the fossil fuel industry.
On CNBC, Buttigieg also insisted that government spending is anti-inflationary.
“If you look at our fiscal policy, it’s right, and it’s amazing that a lot of people don’t even know this, that the deficit has come down,” Buttigieg said. Part of it refers to the fact that some of the investments we’re making are helping beat inflation.
With inflation, that’s certainly true with infrastructure investments because we know how infrastructure relates to the supply chain, and the supply chain relates to inflation.
Biden signed the bipartisan $1 trillion infrastructure bill last year, as well as the $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan, a third bill for pandemic relief.
The budget deficit totaled $2.77 trillion for 2021 that ended Sept. 30, the second-highest annual deficit ever, surpassed only by $3.13 trillion for 2020. But both budgets have been swollen by stimulus spending.
Buttigieg said Tuesday that the United States is still grappling with port backlogs and supply chain disruptions, announcing at the White House a new effort to “improve shipping logistics.”
Right now, the lack of information sharing across the supply chain on shipments—port-to-rail, rail-to-truck, truck-to-warehouse, etc.—means more congestion at every stage. This wastes a lot of time and as the saying goes, time is money,” the minister wrote on Twitter.