Schumer Calls Out Biden Inaction on Gas Prices: ‘We Need Immediate Relief’

Schumer Calls Out Biden Inaction on Gas Prices: 'We Need Immediate Relief' chuck schumer talks to press in capitol building Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., at a press conference following the Democrats policy luncheon at the U.S. Capitol building on Oct. 26, 2021, in Washington, D.C. (Samuel Corum/Getty Images)

By Eric Mack | Monday, 15 November 2021 01:38 PM

Amid skyrocketing gas prices, even Democrats are concerned President Joe Biden's inaction is choking Americans, while Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm says Biden is "all over" the issue, but cannot identify a policy to support that claim.

"No industry is spared, but gasoline is the worst of all," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said at a Sunday press conference, referring to the supply-chain woes and calling on Biden to tap into the strategic petroleum reserve to lower gas prices on consumers, The Washington Times reported.

"Let's get the price of gas down right now, and this will do it," Schumer said.

"We're here today because we need immediate relief at the gas pump and the place to look is the Strategic Petroleum Reserve."

The national average on a gallon of gas is up more than $1 since Biden's election day, raising from $2.39 to $3.41. The reserve was filled under the Trump administration when the price of crude was negative due to oversupply; it is intended to be kept for times of crisis.

"The president is all over this," Granholm told CNN's "New Day" on Monday. "He really is very concerned about inflation, obviously, and the price of gasoline because that's the most obvious manifestation of it.

"And as you know, no president controls the price of gas. Oil is sold on a global market. It is, as we see — as everybody's coming out of COVID there is a huge increase in demand. The supply has not caught up.

"So, the president is looking at the limited tools that he has. I have nothing to announce on this, but know he is looking and evaluating all of his options, limited though they may be in the United States."

Former President Donald Trump and other Republicans have long warned U.S. energy independence is paramount to maintaining affordable gas, but Biden has canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline and turned back energy independence — now asking the Middle East to step up oil production to address U.S. shortages — according to Trump.

"This is a short-term question because the president really — ultimately, the best solution is to build an economy on clean energy so that you don't have to rely on the volatility of fossil fuels," Granholm said. "And that's really what his Build Back Better agenda and the bill he's signing today is all about.

"But we do have this short-term issue and we don't want people hurting in the midst of it. He has encouraged production. People should be producing in the U.S. They should be producing globally. He's gone after OPEC and asked them to increase. They have said that they will not be doing that.

"He has this other tool, which is the strategic petroleum reserve. He's evaluating that as well."

Granholm pointed to green energy and a turning away from fossil fuel usage by Americans, which will take years and billions, if not trillions, to put into place, conservatives argue.

"The solution is the long-term solution, which is to invest in clean solutions so that we don't — we can create our own energy here that we are not reliant upon OPEC, and that we are not hurting the planet — helping to heal it," Granholm said.

Political strategist Dick Morris noted that the Biden administration can make green energy initiatives look like an investment to turn Americans against the cost of fossil fuel energy.

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