White House press secretary Jen Psaki argued that higher gasoline prices, which critics blame the Biden administration for, highlight the need for a rapid transition to clean energy.
“Our view is that the rise in gas prices over the long term makes an even stronger case for doubling down our investment and our focus on clean energy options so we are not relying on the fluctuations and OPEC and their willingness to put more supply and meet the demand in the market,” Psaki told reporters during Friday’s press briefing.
She added that the Biden administration continues to urge the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) to boost oil production. President Joe Biden also recently instructed the Federal Trade Commission to investigate price gouging by gasoline providers, Psaki said.
Gasoline prices have surged to their highest level since 2014, according to the Energy Information Administration. The average cost at the pump reached $3.42 per gallon Friday, up nearly 61% compared to a year ago, a AAA database showed.
Republicans have blamed Biden’s energy and climate policies for surging gasoline prices and projected heating cost increases. The administration revoked the Keystone XL pipeline permit, ditched an oil drilling project in Alaska, banned new oil and gas leasing on federal lands, confirmed it was reviewing the possibility of shutting the key Line 5 pipeline in Michigan and may soon revoke the permit for a Missouri pipeline.
“This administration is floundering, truly floundering. They have no policy except that they’re at the altar of green energy,” Republican Ohio Rep. Bob Latta, a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told the Daily Caller News Foundation in an interview.
Latta — who wrote a letter to the White House opposing the closure of Line 5 on Nov. 4 — also criticized Biden for green lighting a Russian pipeline transporting natural gas to Germany while axing domestic pipelines. He added that the U.S. has reduced emissions more than any other country over the last decade.
“I have a district that has about 86,000 manufacturing jobs. We make stuff here,” Latta continued. “And so here’s the question: how are you going to turn on these massive factories if you don’t have a ready source of energy?”
“They’re trying to fool the American people into thinking you can do this,” he said. “It’s impossible.”
On Friday, Latta and his fellow House Energy and Commerce Republicans asked the committee’s Chair Frank Pallone to schedule hearings “as soon as possible” addressing the energy crisis as winter approaches.