The White House is touting gas prices—which rose more than a dollar during President Joe Biden's first year in office—as one of its major accomplishments in 2021.
On Saturday, the White House sent a memo to media outlets promoting the "enormous amount" Biden got "done for the American people in 2021." Included in the memo is a section celebrating "gas prices," with the White House noting the "price of gas at the pump has decreased nearly 10 cents since its peak, and continuing [sic] to fall."
That peak, however, saw the average price for a gallon of gas hit $3.42 in November—more than a dollar higher than the average price when Biden took office. While gas prices have since fallen slightly, they did so amid fears that the fast-spreading Omicron variant would spark another round of coronavirus lockdowns and decrease demand. During his 2020 campaign, Biden promised to "shut down the virus, not the country" and said he had "a plan to get this virus under control."
The White House did not return a request for comment.
This is not the first time Democrats have attempted to spin high prices at the pump into a positive. Roughly two weeks before the Biden administration sent its year-end memo, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee celebrated a two-cent drop in the price of gas.
"Thanks, Joe Biden," the DCCC tweeted alongside a graph showing that gas prices dropped from $3.40 to $3.38 during a two-week period in November.
Biden issued a number of executive orders targeting the oil and gas industry within days of taking office, including one that canceled the Keystone XL pipeline project and another that suspended new oil and gas drilling on federal lands. A federal judge in Louisiana ruled in June against the latter, returning the authority to pause the drilling to Congress. But the administration is now fighting a GOP-led lawsuit challenging the moratorium.
Republicans argue the policies have undermined American energy independence and caused sky-high oil prices.
"This president and the Democrats are waging a war on fossil fuels and affordable American energy, and American families are paying the price," Rep. Fred Upton (R., Mich.) said during a Tuesday floor speech. "If this administration is serious about lowering gas prices, then it has to stop encouraging other countries and rather encourage ours to produce gas and oil."
Published under: Biden Administration