The leftist thought police at PolitiFact fact-checked a prominent Republican senator for daring to say that President Joe Biden’s terrible energy policies caused high gas prices.
PolitiFact reporter Laura Schulte claimed Sen. Ron Johnson’s (R-WI) tweet that gas prices are “astronomical” because of “the Democrats’ war on fossil fuels” was false in a March 20 fact-check.
Truckers need our support. They are the lifeblood of our economy and are being slammed by regulatory burdens and astronomical gas prices due to the Democrats’ war on fossil fuels. Happy to meet with @OOIDA members today in Brown County. pic.twitter.com/7cLbNf7iGW— Senator Ron Johnson (@SenRonJohnson) March 18, 2022
Schulte bluntly chided Johnson for his comment: “No, Democrats aren’t responsible for rising gas prices.” She instead pointed the finger at the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion of Ukraine for high gas prices, but the numbers seem to tell a different story. Gas prices the week that Joe Biden was inaugurated were roughly $2.37 per gallon, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. But gas prices had already shot up to around $3.36 per gallon by the end of January, nearly a month before Russia invaded Ukraine.
That means gas prices rose roughly 43 percent under Biden before Russian soldiers ever invaded Ukraine.
Schulte claimed that gas prices rising before Biden’s inauguration was proof that his policies had no effect on gas prices. But she undercut her own argument by citing a contradiction-filled New York Times article headlined Republicans Wrongly Blame Biden for Rising Gas Prices.
Times reporter Linda Qiu shielded Biden by fact-checking Republicans who pegged the president as the culprit behind high gas prices. She even quoted Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, who reportedly said, ‘“Covid changed the game, not President Biden.’”
The Times piece completely undermined its defense of Biden by later featuring a quote by Energy Intelligence Director of Research and Advisory and Head of North America Energy Research Abhiram Rajendran. Rajendran actually blamed soaring energy prices on the Biden administration’s “‘pretty stark miscalculation of the amount of supply we would need to keep energy prices at affordable levels.’”
In other words, Rajendran correctly identified Biden and his lackeys at the White House as the true culprits behind America’s oil price disaster. But The Times’s headline suggested that Biden bore no responsibility at all.
American Enterprise Institute resident scholar Benjamin Zycher punctured that narrative by explaining that Biden’s war against fossil fuels contributed to reduced output, lifting prices. “Look no further than the Biden administration’s policies for the answer” as to why gas prices are increasing, Zycher said in an op-ed for National Review. “The ‘net-zero’ crusade against fossil fuels is an obvious attempt to force a sharp decline in current and future production.”
Schulte, however, still downplayed the effect of the Keystone XL pipeline on the U.S. oil supply in her fact-check. She cited University of Wisconsin professor Gregory Nemet as having said, “There are 95 million (barrels) per day of global oil production, and only 0.5 million barrels per day from the Keystone XL so it would have a very small effect, when it would come online.”
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