Republicans Keep Bragging About Low Gas Prices Under Trump as if There Wasn’t Some Other Gigantic Reason For That
Gee, what else was happening in 2020 that could have affected gas prices??
A number of U.S. lawmakers seem to be experiencing gaps in logic around the current surge in gas prices, and taking joy in flaunting those gaps publicly.
On Monday night, Rep. Jim Jordan tweeted: “Remember how cheap gas was during the Trump Administration?”
The implication here is that Donald Trump was responsible for low gas prices and President Joe Biden is responsible for the current prices, which are at an all-time high. While the sanctions the U.S. (and many, many other countries) have placed on Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine are largely responsible for the current spike, the president has little to no direct influence on gas prices, which are rooted in basic supply and demand.
Meaning Trump had absolutely nothing to do with the low price of gas during his term. One thing that could have had a massive effect on those prices, of course, is the near-entire last year of his presidency when no one was leaving their homes.
That’s why Senator Marsha Blackburn’s tweet was similar to Jordan’s but ultimately even more inane. On Sunday, Blackburn—a Republican from Tennessee—tweeted, “Under President Trump, gas was about $2.17 in 2020.”
What else was happening in 2020, Marsha??
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tore into Blackburn on Twitter, reminding her not just of the impact the pandemic obviously had on supply and demand for gas, but also of the other markers of that last year of Trump’s presidency, like the record unemployment high.
“Does the Senator want to jump to claim that as Trump’s legacy too?” she wrote. “Or would we rather examine context and data like adults?”
Unemployment also hit 14.8% in 2020, the highest rate ever seen in the US since data collection began.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 8, 2022
Does the Senator want to jump to claim that as Trump’s legacy too? Or would we rather examine context and data like adults? 👩🏽🏫
It’s not just Republican lawmakers making these leaps in logic. Fox News’ Peter Doocy (of course it’s Doocy) also took the opportunity to spew some nonsense during Monday’s White House press briefing.
“It sounds like you guys are blaming Putin for the increase in gas prices recently, but weren’t gas prices going up anyway because of post-pandemic supply chain issues?” Doocy asked press secretary Jen Psaki.
The two went back and forth for a minute about how the price increase, which was anticipated, “is a direct result of the invasion of Ukraine” (obviously) but when Doocy repeatedly tried to cut her off, she shut him down.
“Let me give you the facts here—and I know that can be inconvenient, but I think they’re important in this moment,” she said in her dangerously polite way, explaining to Doocy that the perception that the federal government isn’t allowing companies to drill for oil domestically is inaccurate. “There are 9,000 unused approved drilling permits, so I would suggest you ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more,” Psaki said. (She also had to explain to him that the Keystone Pipeline is a pipeline and not an oil field, so opening it up wouldn’t actually produce more oil.)
Psaki also expressed the administration’s desire to “reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and foreign oil, because that will help us have a reliable source of energy so that we’re not worried about gas prices going up because of the whims of a foreign dictator”—a statement Biden initially seemed hesitant to make following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, so it’s encouraging to hear it mentioned here.
(image: Samuel Corum/Getty Images)
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