6:00: Morning News

As gas prices blow past $4, Capito and GOP senators blast Biden

As the average price of gasoline in West Virginia has now spiked to $4.38 a gallon, Senator Shelley Moore Capito gathered with fellow Republicans to again blast the Biden administration’s energy policies.

The $4.38 price point is what most West Virginians are paying now for a gallon of regular gasoline, according to AAA.

One week ago, the cost was $4.22 a gallon.

A month ago, the price was $3.95 a gallon.

And one year ago, the cost was $2.99 a gallon.

Prices are now above $4 a gallon all across the country.

Shelley Moore Capito

“I come from West Virginia. We drive everywhere. We drive to school, we drive to work, we drive to the grocery store, we drive to church, we drive to see our friends,” said Capito, R-W.Va. “We are rural America, where cars are the only way to get to the places you need to be. So I think what people want to hear is ‘I get it.'”

Energy rich Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has rocked world markets, particularly in Europe, driven both by uncertainty and sanctions. But Capito and her Republican colleagues who gathered at a news conference today contended the issue is more complicated than that, with prices going up even prior to that because of the Biden administration’s greater regulatory pressure on fossil fuels.

“He blames Vladimir Putin, he blames covid, he blames even American businesses. And if you just, even look and try to deflect his reasoning on who he blames, you can see prices were escalating well before Vladimir Putin ever invaded Ukraine,” Capito said.

Capito conveyed stories of West Virginians who have been struggling with high gas prices. “I’m a senior citizen and I’m barely making it,” she conveyed from a senior citizen from Huntington.

Lisa Murkowski,

Senator Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, was asked whether a broad step of loosening regulation in the American energy industry would prompt a rapid decline in gas prices. Murkowski said a clear signal from the Biden administration would result in greater confidence by producers, who could swiftly ramp up.

“When the signal is sent that this administration recognizes that domestic production, our own energy, is an asset and not a liability — that then sends a signal to the markets that can be real, that can be immediate and can be transformative. That sends a signal to investors that have been holding back,” Murkowski said.

“That can be immediate. That signal can make a difference. And all it would take is President Biden standing in front of a microphone and saying ‘Given what is happening in this country, the unprecedented place that we are at today, the impact on everyday Americans, I’ve got an obligation to say Americans are going to come first and American energy production is going to come first.’ He could do that today.”

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