Sen. Deb Fischer Pushes Back At Biden Administration On High Fuel Prices

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In her weekly letter to Nebraska constituents, Sen. Deb Fischer takes exception to the Biden administration’s weak response to high fuel prices. Fischer says – “Gas prices are high – as of March 14, the national average is $4.32 per gallon, the highest it has ever been. When President Biden was asked if he had a message for Americans who are paying record prices at the pump, this was all he had to say: Prices are “going to go up. Can’t do much right now. Russia is responsible.”


Other Biden administration officials have also blamed rising energy costs on Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki called what we are seeing a “Putin spike.” Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said we don’t know how long gas prices will stay high because “we don’t know how long Putin is going to terrorize Ukraine.” And Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen recently admitted to CNBC that inflation for energy and other goods is going to be “very uncomfortably high” for the next year.


It is simply false to say Russia is entirely responsible for rising energy prices. Gas prices have been going up since January 20, 2021, President Biden’s first day in office, even though they were $2.45 per gallon when President Trump took office and stayed below $3.00 throughout his presidency.


You don’t need an economics degree to figure out why: On the campaign trail, President Biden promised to do everything he could to end fossil fuels. At a town hall event, he even said he would try to make companies and their leaders liable and to “put them in jail.”


Energy producers are facing uncertainty – uncertainty prompted by Joe Biden. In his first month in office, he rushed to make good on these campaign promises by limiting new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters. And earlier this year, he stopped issuing new drilling permits altogether.


The need for American oil and gas has never been higher, but because of this administration’s policies, domestic production hasn’t kept up. The result is what we are seeing now, with gas prices up more than 75 percent since January 2021.


Using more American-grown and produced biofuels could help curb these rising costs. I recently joined a bipartisan group of my Senate colleagues in sending a letter to the president, asking him to reinstate the sale of E15 over the summer driving season. I have also cosponsored the Home Front Energy Independence Act, which includes my standalone bill to allow E15 to be sold all year.


The White House has said their restrictive policies are meant to encourage a transition to clean energy. But that decision has led to higher energy prices and increased Western reliance on Russian oil. This was on clear display last year, when Biden asked OPEC to increase production to address high U.S. gas prices instead of rolling back some of his detrimental day-one policies.


And now that gas prices are at record highs, the president and his team are again going hat in hand to ask other countries to sell us more oil. The nations the White House has asked for a bailout so far include Venezuela, one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships. Why trade one tyrant for another when we are more than capable of producing enough energy here at home? Why feel it is somehow better to have other countries produce the oil we need than to allow our nation to become energy independent?


Since the moment he took office, President Biden has targeted American oil, gas, and ethanol. And even now that we are no longer importing fuel from Russia, he still seems intent on kneecapping American energy potential while asking other countries to fill in the gaps.


Instead of blaming Russia for the highest gas prices in American history, President Biden should look inward. Prices started rising more than a year ago, long before the current crisis in Ukraine. And until he reverses course and allows American energy producers to actually produce American energy, prices will continue to climb higher.”