On Thursday, Sen. Josh Hawley grilled Biden's Energy Secretary for blaming high gas prices on Putin.
As gas prices continue to rise across the nation, there has been much debate regarding who to blame, with the Biden administration repeatedly deflecting blame onto Putin, a move that has been criticized by Republicans.
Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm took part in Thursday's hearing with the Senate Armed Services Committee, in which Hawley pressed Granholm on the rising price of gas, asking what the Biden administration plans to do to lower costs for consumers.
"I'm sure you've seen the reporting this morning," Sen. Hawley began, "that now AAA is projecting that gas prices will hit a national average, average, of $6 a gallon by the month of August. Is this acceptable to you?"
"No, it is not," Sec. Granholm replied, "and you can thank the activity of Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine and pulling us–.
"Oh nonsense," Sen. Hawley interrupted. "With all due respect, Madam Secretary, that's utter nonsense."
He then explained that prices had been on the rise for months, long before Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
"In January of 2021, the average gas price in my state was $2.07. Eight months later, eight months later, long before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, that price was up over 30 percent, and has been going up consistently since."
"What are you doing to reverse this administration's policies that are drawing down our own supply of energy in this country, that are throttling oil and gas production in the United States of America?" Hawley asked Granholm.
"With respect sir, it is not administration policies that have affected supply and demand–," Granholm began, before Hawley interrupted.
"How can you say that when the price of gas was up over 30%percent from January?" Hawley interjected. "From January to August, the price of gasoline was up over 30 percent in my state alone; it has been a continuous upward tick since then."
Hawley then launched into a tirade against the Biden administration, calling out the policies the president enacted upon taking office.
"He immediately re-entered the Paris Climate Accord, he cancelled the Keystone Pipeline, he halted leasing programs in ANWR, he issued a sixty-day halt on all new oil and gas leases and drilling permits on federal lands and waters ... that accounts for 25 percent of US oil production. He directed federal agencies to eliminate all support efforts for fossil fuels, he imposed new regulations on oil and gas, and methane emissions; those were all just in the first few days!" Hawley said.
Granholm's claim that Putin is to blame is in line with the rest of the Biden administration. On Wednesday, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said as much, referring to rising gas prices as "Putin's price hike" like her predecessor, Jen Psaki, said in numerous press conferences.
In a March address given by President Biden announcing that the US would be banning imports of Russian, oil, he said that gas prices would go up, referring to it as the "Putin Price Hike."
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