Senator Josh Hawley took Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm to task for spreading “utter nonsense” as she tried to defend President Biden over skyrocketing gas prices.
Hawley (R-MO), during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Thursday, challenged Granholm by asking if she found the gas crisis – which he notes is expected to get worse according to AAA, possibly rising to a $6/gallon national average – “acceptable.”
She replied by using the administration’s ‘Putin price hike’ line of attack.
“No, it is not,” she replied. “And you can thank the activity of Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine” for the rising prices.
Hawley immediately interjected saying, “With all due respect, Madame Secretary, that’s utter nonsense.”
Senator Hawley noted that average gas prices in Missouri had ballooned from January of 2021, when President Biden took office, to August of that same year by about 30%, “long before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine.”
He then set about naming several moves Biden and his Energy Department made that had gas prices on the uptick from the onset of his term in office.
Actions such as running roughshod over the oil and gas industry through such measures as canceling the Keystone XL pipeline and suspending oil and gas leases in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR).
Hawley continued pressing, asking Granholm if the administration’s policies had “no effect” on the current prices.
“No, they did not,” she claimed before again blaming Putin.
“The increase in demand and the decrease in supply [came] from pulling Russian barrels of oil off the market thanks to, rightly, the United States saying we’re not going to take Russian oil,” she added.
Hawley could hardly contain his level of disgust at Granholm’s responses.
“I have to say Madame Secretary, with all due respect, your answers are insulting,” the GOP Senator conveyed.
He asked, “What are you doing to bring down the price of gasoline?”
The Energy Secretary advised that the administration is “releasing a million barrels a day” from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to address the problem.
Biden initiated such a release back in December, leading to gas prices dropping a few cents, something the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) celebrated with a deceptive chart.
The Biden administration began releasing 1 million barrels of oil per day from the reserve at the end of March.
Since then, gas prices have reached record levels.
They also turned to “Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Venezuela” to ease domestic energy prices.
At least Granholm’s response to the question – “What are you doing to bring down the price of gasoline?” – was a little more palatable this time around.
It wasn’t all that long ago she outright laughed at the notion she would do anything about gas prices as they were already well into their ascent months before Putin’s invasion.
“What is the Granholm plan to increase oil production in America?” Bloomberg host Tom Keene asked back in November.
“That is hilarious,” she replied, tossing her head back in laughter.
She had no plan. She has no plan. And there is nothing funny about the “utter nonsense” she spewed during Thursday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing.
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