In November 2020, a Washington Post article dismissed concerns that Biden’s policies would increase gas prices. On Sunday, The Post editorial board published a piece arguing the drastic rise in gas prices is largely attributable to Russian President Vladimir Putin while claiming, “[T]here’s not a lot President Biden can do.”
“Record gas prices are a daily reminder of how different the current economy is from what many Americans are accustomed to: Inflation is at a four-decade high, and interest rates are rising at a pace not seen in two decades. People are anxious about this economy. Consumer sentiment is at a record low since the University of Michigan began tracking it in the mid-1970s,” the editorial board wrote.
The Washington Post argued the cause of this economic trouble is Putin’s invasion of Ukraine in February: “This is largely Vladimir Putin’s fault. Gas prices are up nearly $2 in the past year, and 75 percent of that increase came since Putin’s Russian troops invaded Ukraine.”
The board wrote, “The United States and many other countries rightly responded to this unjustified war by imposing heavy sanctions and halting purchases of Russian oil and grain.”
They continued, “But that means supplies are down, and energy and food prices have soared to record highs around the world. Putin wants — and expects — the world to cave and lift the sanctions and cede parts of Ukraine to Russia in the face of these high prices. As hard as it is, we cannot let Putin win.”
Regarding Biden, The Post wrote, “In the short term, there’s not a lot President Biden can do.”
A March Washington Post op-ed written by columnist Marc A. Thiessen contradicted the editorial board’s current position. Thiessen called Biden’s attempt to label the gas price increases as the ‘#PutinPriceHike’ “disgusting”.
Thiessen noted that “Before the war in Ukraine, Biden presided over the largest year-over-year price rise in at least 30 years.”
More recently, Biden received criticism for celebrating rising gas prices as a step toward a greener economy.
“Here’s the situation. And when it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said in May.
Similarly, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen faced criticism last week for stating that “the critical thing is we become more dependent on the wind and sun.”
Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., published an op-ed on Fox News criticizing Biden over Memorial Day weekend for what he described as “policies that do nothing to increase supply as gas prices break records.”
According to the senator, “America is producing 1 million fewer barrels of oil per day than before the pandemic.” He urged the president to “Hold lease sales, approve drilling permits, approve energy infrastructure, and stop blocking private energy investments.”
In early March, The Post editorial board defended Biden turning to Venezuela and Saudi Arabia for oil, saying he had ‘little choice.’
Now, they write, “Mr. Biden should not resort to begging the Saudis, Iranians and Venezuelans for more oil. Lifting any sanctions or repairing relationships should only be done in exchange for substantial gains, including political concessions.”
The Post also criticized domestic oil producers and attributed their limited production to greed. The Post did not mention the Biden administration’s ban on drilling on federal lands for one year or canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline as reasons for increased prices.