U.S. Senator for Idaho Mike Crapo, Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, led a news conference with Republican colleagues to highlight the challenges caused by sky-high gas prices, noting that in order to combat high inflation and increasing energy costs, policymakers must address root causes, rather than promote gimmicks that could make the situation worse.   

Inflation has accelerated to 40-year highs under the Biden Administration, with gas prices increasing 48 percent from the time the President took office to just before Russia invaded Ukraine.  As Crapo has previously said, the Administration’s spending policies and hostile regulatory agenda set a crippling inflation foundation from which, unfortunately for American households, new inflation pressures will be built.   

“The fact that inflation was roaring for a year before Vladimir Putin even started the invasion in Ukraine–on multiple products, not just on oil and gas–is proof in and of itself.  From the time President Biden took office to just before Russia invaded Ukraine, gas prices increased by 48 percent. . . .” 

“Before the President took office, we were energy independent, and we were actually supplying liquid natural gas to Europe, in competition with Russia.  Today, that is all ramping down.  America is now once again energy dependent because of the attack on our American oil and gas production, which includes everything from the Keystone XL pipeline to the refusal to grant any new leases or extend any permits offshore or on our federal properties. . . .” 

“The Administration has a war on our own American energy independence.  That’s what needs to be addressed in America to try to deal with the rising cost of fuel and the rising cost of many other products that are fuel-dependent.” 

Watch Crapo’s full remarks here, or read them below.

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“The last news conference I held was on February 16, on inflation, where multiple Senators referenced incredibly high gas prices, as well as prices across the commodities.   

“Since that time, inflation numbers have kept on growing. 

“While Russian aggression and necessary responses are sure to push prices even higher with regard to gas, skyrocketing inflation and gas prices have been more than a year in the making. 

“The purpose of this press conference is to respond specifically to the Administration’s efforts to say, ‘well inflation is a responsibility of Putin, not a responsibility of the actions of this Administration.’ 

“The fact that inflation was roaring for a year before Vladimir Putin even started the invasion in Ukraine–on multiple products, not just on oil and gas–is proof in and of itself. 

“From the time President Biden took office to just before Russia invaded Ukraine, gas prices increased by 48 percent. 

“The war in Ukraine, with regard to oil and gas, has had an impact on oil prices.  But it’s not the reason the majority of the increase in oil prices has occurred.  

“Why did they occur?  In the last 14 months, the Democrats, including the President, have been attacking the American oil and gas industry and stopping our own production. 

“Before the President took office, we were energy independent, and we were actually supplying liquid natural gas to Europe, in competition with Russia. 

“Today, that is all ramping down.  America is now once again energy dependent because of the attack on our American oil and gas production, which includes everything from the Keystone XL pipeline to the refusal to grant any new leases or extend any permits offshore or on our federal properties. 

“The solution is not a gimmick like reducing or eliminating, for a short period of time, the tax on gasoline.  Or, eliminating the falsely-named windfall profits tax, that really is an effort to tax our American producers if they increase their production.   

“They don’t control the price of oil.  They control the amount of their production.  If they try to get back in the game, the proposal is to tax them, which will simply drive the price of gas up higher. 

“The problem here is the Administration.  The Administration has waged war on American energy independence.  That’s what needs to be addressed to try to deal with the rising cost of fuel and the rising cost of many other products that are fuel-dependent.”

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