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(Video: Fox News)
Two commentators went on Fox News on Monday to discuss high gas prices, and debate whether or not it is accurate for President Joe Biden to assign all the blame to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Prices at the pump have been causing a lot of Americans a lot of pain, and assigning blame for them has become a potent political football, with both parties assigning the blame to each other, or to outside circumstances. Democrats, perhaps fearful of voter retaliation in what was already looking like a difficult midterm battle this November, have largely seized on the idea that Putin’s brutal assault on Ukraine is the sole reason for gas prices to be spiking, due to the worldwide ripple effects and instability.
Republicans have taken the opposite approach, and have pilloried Biden’s energy policies as attacking America’s energy sector without actually providing a reasonable alternative.
Matthew Foldi from the Washington Free Beacon, and David Carlucci, a Democratic strategist, went on “Fox [email protected]” to talk about the issue.
When asked whether he would admit that prices had been on the rise before Putin’s invasion in February, Carlucci did agree, but added a caveat:
“We’ve seen inflation increase steadily over the past few months, but the invasion of Ukraine has obviously exacerbated the situation. So I think President Biden is right to blame Putin for this price increase. Is it the answer to ALL of the issues with inflation? No.”
Carlucci also agreed that energy independence was a desirable goal: “I think nothing speaks louder of our need for energy independence than this situation that is going on in Ukraine right now.”
Guest host Kevin Corke did note that prices had been increasing for 57 of the past 59 days, though that would still be within the window that Russia’s invasion plans have been made apparent to the world, though outside of the window of the actual start of the most recent phase of the invasion on February 24th (Russia has been illegally on Ukrainian soil since 2014, when it seized Crimea through force, and sponsored militias in the Donbas region).
More recently, gas had jumped 41 cents within a week, as of Monday when the show aired. Corke then went on to assert that prices had risen 59 percent under Biden, and accused Carlucci of making a “specious” argument for pointing out the context and timing of those jumps in relation to Putin’s escalation since last December.
Sharing a graphic on the prices, Corke noted that it’s “up 41 cents from just a week ago and it’s even worse than that, we’re talking much worse if you think about it, gas prices have got up some 59% since Joe Biden took office.”
“So looking at just that number you have to say it is a bit of a specious argument to sort of try to put this all on Vladimir Putin,” he said, teeing up Foldi for a response.
“Well, it is concerning for President Biden that one year in he’s blaming everything from Vladimir Putin to corporations for the consequences of his own actions, right? ” Foldi replied.
“On day one, Biden declared war on American energy, by canceling Keystone XL pipeline, sending the entire oil industry into a tailspin of uncertainty. Why would you ever invest long-term in American energy when, if when Democrats come into the White House, they’ll shut down your pipelines?”
Foldi also noted that Biden has canceled permits for oil and gas drilling, while Democrats in Congress pressured oil companies to stop drilling in America. Foldi also pointed out that after the embargo on Russian oil went into effect, this policy then left Biden scrambling for deals with hostile regimes in Iran and Venezuala to find replacements, since current levels of American production couldn’t compensate for the difference.
Carlucci nevertheless insisted that these were simply the cost of accepting the need to “use less energy” and force some sort of alternative, presumably a reference to “green energy,” though Carlucci didn’t give any details or specifics other than to say the oil industry “has us by the neck.”
“I think the answer is obvious. We as Americans are addicted to gas and oil,” he contended.
“There’s no other way around it. I think President Biden is being honest with the American people and saying, look, we’ve got to change this. We can’t just drill our way out of this. We can’t frack our way out of this,” he continued.
“So we’ve been talking about climate change and climate crisis. This really puts into perspective when gas prices start going up what is the real cost. We start having to do business with Putin, Venezuela, with Iran, and Saudi Arabia, you see who we have to deal with but the reality is we have to deal with ourselves,” Carlucci added. “We have to embrace policies where we use less energy, where we are less dependent on the oil and gas companies that really have us by the neck.”
Corke said he agreed in principle, but noted that working families are being affected now, and need a solution now, and can’t afford expensive alternatives like buying new cars. By the end of the segment, no actual solution that both could agree on was reached.
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