Democrats on Wednesday told the American public the party has "done our part" to reduce gas prices—not by driving oil production but by investing in electric vehicles.
During a Wednesday morning House Energy Committee hearing, Rep. Frank Pallone (D., N.J.) said Democrats have "worked hard" to "bring real energy security to the American people" and focus on "actually reducing costs for American consumers at the pump." To prove his claim, however, Pallone did not list attempts from Democrats to spur oil production. Instead, he touted the party's investments in electric vehicles, which he argued would one day make the price of gas obsolete.
"We've invested in electric vehicles to give consumers a choice and make high gas prices a thing of the past," Pallone, who chairs the committee, said. "So we've done our part or we're doing our part to try to produce or have more oil available on the marketplace." The Democrat did not include the latter remark in the online transcript of his opening statement.
Pallone's comments come as Democrats attempt to distance their party from sky-high prices at the pump seen under President Joe Biden. During Wednesday's hearing, Energy Committee Democrats pinned the blame on top U.S. oil executives, whom they accused of price gouging and war profiteering in the wake of Russia's February invasion of Ukraine. But prior to the war, Biden oversaw the largest year-over-year gas price hike in at least three decades, which came after the Democrat promised to "end fossil fuel," canceled the Keystone XL pipeline, and implemented a moratorium on new gas leases.
While committee Democrats urged oil executives to increase oil production during the hearing, their House colleagues did just the opposite a matter of months ago. In late October, House Oversight and Reform Committee Democrats called in executives from Exxon, BP, Shell, and Chevron to ask them what steps they were taking to produce less oil and gas, with Rep. Hank Johnson (D., Ga.) saying "the world can't wait" any longer. Gas prices hovered around a 10-year high at the time.
Power the Future founder and executive director Daniel Turner dismissed Pallone's assertion that Democrats' electric vehicle investments have reduced costs for the American people, calling the comment "pure ignorance."
"Only a career politician like Frank Pallone would think a $700 monthly lease of an electric vehicle is the solution to an $80-a-month gas price increase," Turner told the Washington Free Beacon. "It's pure ignorance. It's pure political posturing from a party petrified that they will lose their majorities in a few more months."
Pallone did not return a request for comment. During his Wednesday opening remarks, the Democrat also called alternative energy "the best way to protect Americans from oil price spikes," given that it "is more stable, affordable, and generated right here at home." But the average price for an electric vehicle is more than $56,000, roughly $10,000 higher than the overall auto industry average. In addition, China dominates the electric vehicle supply chain, meaning Democrats' push for a green economy will likely increase America's dependency on the communist nation.
Pallone is not the only Democrat to advise the American people to drive electric to offset record-high gas prices. Just days ago, Biden told Americans they can save "about $80 a month from not having to pay gas at the pump" if they purchase an electric car.
"High gas prices are a feature of this administration's policies, not a bug," Republican congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R., Wash.) said Wednesday. "If you're wondering what life is going to look like under the Green New Deal, you're getting a small taste of it now. It's not reality, and it's not something people can afford."