Is Jen Psaki Really This Clueless on Gas Prices?

AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

Just in time for Memorial Day, gas prices soared to a seven-year high. According to AAA, the average nationwide cost for a gallon of regular gas is $3.04, up 58 percent from last year and 7 percent from Memorial Day 2019. Yet on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki assured Americans that everything is fine.


“As Americans are hitting the road, they are paying less in real terms for gas than they have on average over the last 15 years—and they’re paying about the same as they did in May 2018 and May 2019,” Psaki said in a special statement on gas prices for Memorial Day weekend.

Echoing Biden’s bragging on COVID-19 — which ignores former President Donald Trump’s historic vaccine accomplishment — Psaki claimed that “the Administration’s success in beating the pandemic and getting our economy back on track has led to increased demand for gas as the country re-opens. But, while prices have increased from the lows last year—as demand drastically dipped—prices at just about $3 per gallon are still well in-line with what they’ve been in recent decades.”

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Indeed, gas prices were higher during the presidency of Barack Obama, before the shale oil boom increased the global supply and made America energy independent. According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas prices (not adjusted for inflation) peaked in May of 2011 at $3.960 but had dropped to $2.802 in May of 2015. After dropping to $2.371 in May of 2016, prices increased slightly, hitting $2.987 in May 2018 and $2.946 in May 2019.


Yet Psaki’s rhetoric cannot change the fact that gas prices in May 2021 are higher than they have been since 2014. Biden’s policies forbidding drilling on federal lands, creating a new climate alarmist bureaucracy to slow down cheap and reliable sources of energy, and incentivizing wind and solar energy that would make America more reliant on China’s rare-earth mineral dominance will only exacerbate the situation.

Biden’s policies will choke the domestic supply of gas, causing prices to rise even more.

As Psaki noted, “prices have already stabilized after a spike earlier this month, as the Colonial Pipeline is fully flowing, and the supply situation returns to normal.” The Biden administration did indeed help mitigate the Colonial Pipeline crisis, but its longterm agenda undermines Psaki’s rosy spin on gas prices.

Even while Psaki worked hard to frame higher gas prices as normal, she acknowledged Americans’ pain at the pump.

“While oil prices are shaped by global forces, the president knows that gas prices are a pain point for Americans—especially the middle-class families he’s put at the center of his economic agenda. That’s why President Biden is opposed [to] any proposals to raise the gas tax,” the press secretary noted.

Psaki can claim that everything is fine all that she wants, but as PJ Media’s Bryan Preston noted (in a great article for our VIP subscribers), gas prices were already going up before the Colonial Pipeline fiasco, and Biden’s policies likely have a great deal to do with that price bump.


Finally, if Americans are “paying less in real terms for gas,” that might be due to increasing inflation — the natural result of Biden’s massive spending proposals and his laughably inadequate tax plan. That’s not exactly a selling point, Ms. Psaki.

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Psaki’s odd statement on gas prices is nothing but shoddy damage control. Americans know that things are different under Joe Biden, they know Biden is cracking down on the gas industry and they know gas prices are higher than they’ve been in nearly a decade. No amount of massaging can erase these facts.



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