Republican Rep. Steve Scalise of Louisiana blasted President Joe Biden’s veto threat against legislation that would promote more domestic oil drilling.
“The president actually issued a veto threat on this bill. A veto threat should be a rare exercise that you reserve for policy that might hurt the country,” Scalise said as the House of Representatives debated H.R. 21, the Strategic Petroleum Response Act. “Let’s read why the president issued the veto threat. In his veto threat he said ‘the administration’s use of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve has been essential to protecting our energy security and to lowering gas prices for Americans.’”
Republican Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington, chairwoman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, introduced the legislation. The White House issued a statement of administration policy Monday threatening a veto should the bill pass into law.
Biden authorized the release of up to 180 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve (SPR) in March 2022, shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. The releases sent the SPR to its lowest level since the 1980s, according to Forbes.
Biden boasted that the releases from the SPR lowered gas prices in a Nov. 29 speech. Biden and the White House have often called increased gas prices the “Putin price hike,” while also blaming oil companies for high energy prices, but some experts have said Biden’s hostility to fossil fuel production has fueled higher gas prices.
“I hope I’m not the one that breaks this news to the White House, but, Mr. President, your policies have not lowered gas prices for Americans,” Scalise said. “Maybe the calculator’s broken at the White House, we did the math. LEt’s so some fact checking. Since Joe Biden took the oath of office, gas prices have not lowered, they have increased 50%.”
A gallon of regular gas cost an average of $3.502, an increase of 40 cents in the last month, according to AAA. On Nov. 3, 2020, the average price for a gallon of gas was $2.1218, AAA told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the DCNF.
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