Tag Archive for: EnergyInflation

Gas Prices Hit Record High Every Day for Past Two Weeks

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Gas prices have soared to new heights this month with the price of unleaded regular gas hitting a record high every day for the past two weeks. With Memorial Day weekend approaching, motorists face steep costs if they plan to travel.

According to AAA, the national average regular unleaded gas price Tuesday came in at $4.60, a record high. Diesel gasoline is at $5.55 per gallon, just below the record set last week.

“The national average for a gallon of gas has not fallen for nearly a month. Gasoline has either remained flat or risen every day since April 24 and has set a new record daily since May 10,” the group said. “That was the day gas eclipsed the previous record high of $4.33, set earlier this year on March 11. The national average for a gallon of gasoline is now $4.59 and all 50 states are above $4 per gallon.”

In the Midwest, Illinois stands apart with gas at an average of $4.97 a gallon. Motorists in Illinois neighbors Iowa and Missouri are paying $4.16 a gallon.

These prices have been a pain point for Americans, many of whom are struggling to make ends meet. The rise has also drawn fresh criticism for the Biden administration’s energy policies, which include stopping new oil leases and pipeline development.

“They’re causing you pain at the pump because it’s all part of their radical agenda,” Republican Whip Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., said.

The Russian invasion of Ukraine helped propel the rise of prices, but energy prices had already been on a significant rise long before the February invasion.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics tracks energy prices as part of inflation and has reported a steady rise since before the inflation. The most recent federal data on the consumer price index, a leading measure of inflation, showed energy prices soared in the past year.

“The all items index increased 8.3 percent for the 12 months ending April, a smaller increase than the 8.5-percent figure for the period ending in March,” BLS said. “The all items less food and energy index rose 6.2 percent over the last 12 months. The energy index rose 30.3 percent over the last year, and the food index increased 9.4 percent, the largest 12-month increase since the period ending April 1981.”

“When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over we’ll be stronger, and the world will be stronger and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” Biden said. “It’s bad. The price of gas at the pump … it’s affecting a lot of families.”

But those comments sparked blowback from critics who said Biden seemed to be saying these prices are a new normal and necessary part of transitioning away from fossil fuels.

“Joe Biden finally said the truth out loud: the record high gas prices crippling America right now are on purpose,” Power The Future Founder and Executive Director Daniel Turner said in a Tuesday statement. “President Biden’s ability to bring our country to its knees in less than two years has been nothing short of extraordinary. Joe Biden knows that only by crippling the fossil fuel industry will he usher in the radical green agenda he so desires, and if that means causing incredible pain to American families and the overall economy, it’s a casualty he can live with.”

With the start of the summer travel season this weekend, analysts say prices aren’t coming down anytime soon.

“As Americans struggle to make ends meet thanks to his raging inflation, [President Joe Biden] celebrates their suffering,” U.S. Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said. “Biden is incompetent and incoherent, but he’s made one thing very clear: he couldn’t care less about the problems he’s caused for your family.”


This article was published by The Center Square and is reproduced with permission.




The Russia/Bermuda Dark Money Subterfuge

Estimated Reading Time: 4 minutes

If there is one thing you can say about the Russians it is that they stick to their proven playbook no matter what carnage they inflict on the innocents or how greatly they deceive the gullible.

During the height of the Cold War, they sought to stop America’s introduction of sophisticated weapons that would have blunted any planned invasion of Western Europe by the Red Army by infiltrating the “peace movement” with money and resources.

So it should come as no surprise that members of Congress continue to express deep concern that Putin’s Russia may be preventing the West’s energy independence by promoting through third parties, who may be unwilling dupes or active co-conspirators, “green” alternatives that are either impractical, aspirational, or an outright fiction.

It has been reported that Russia has been using a legal loophole to actively fund opponents of American energy independence, by funneling untraceable money through an entity in Bermuda, a nation that does require disclosure as to whether funds originated from a foreign government.

The loophole has apparently been serving as an open invitation for Russia — in particular its largest oil and gas company, Gazprom — to channel unlimited, unaccountable millions in dark money (anonymous donations) to American non-governmental organizations; these then fund “green” programs that discourage “dirty” energy exploration, and encourage the use of “clean” energy, such as solar panels and wind turbines. Unfortunately, even if they were able to meet all energy needs — which is disputed — they are not widely available or ready for use.

Such a strategy would not only be consistent with past Soviet/Russian practices but would be expected by a Putin whose long game of chess seeks to hold the West hostage by becoming the major supplier of natural gas to Europe at a time when his operatives have helped shut down viable energy alternatives. So as Putin seeks to decapitate Ukraine, he knows that one source of income for his war machine remains the natural gas that nations such as Germany must have in order to survive economically.

Not surprisingly, the Biden administration’s seemingly inept energy policy has played directly into Putin’s hands. Americans, from the first day of the Biden administration, have been devastated by skyrocketing inflation. The most dramatic example is at the gas pump. In just one year, the price of gasoline — $2.17 a gallon in 2020 — has doubled, with no signs of slowing.

How did we get here?

To appease the Progressive wing of his party, Biden, within days of his inauguration, began shutting down virtually America’s entire energy independence and oil and gas exploration industry, and is still freezing future oil-and-gas drilling leases. The move not only threw thousands of Americans out of work, it has also forced Americans to pay premium prices for just about everything in the American economy — whatever is processed, manufactured, or transported — all of which require fossil fuel energy. Wind turbines and solar panels do not truck supplies to your supermarket, or even build the electric vehicles — costing more than $56,000 a car — that the Biden administration wants you to buy. If you cannot afford $5-a-gallon gasoline, hey, an electric vehicle is your answer! Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg’s questionable suggestion was, “Take the bus.” The current administration policy seems to be, “Let them eat electric vehicles.”

Some members of Congress understand that this kind of response is more than ludicrous. Buying oil from Russia, Iran, and Venezuela is basically counterproductive. Given the nature of potential threats, it would make America a vassal state.

Congressmen Jim Banks and Bill Johnson have sent a letter to Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, asking for an investigation into the reported Russian manipulation of American “green groups” that are seemingly funded with “dark money.” The letter was following up on an earlier letter sent by Representatives Lamar Smith and Randy Weber to then Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in 2017. Their letter notes:

“According to Sea Change’s tax filing, in 2010 the group received $23 million, half of its total annual contributions, from a Bahamian shell corporation tied to the Russian government. Sea Change then passed that money to groups like the Sierra Club and the Center for American Progress who lobbied strongly against fracking and pro-energy policies, to reduce competition with Russian oil and gas. In 2020, the Center for American Progress donated over $800,000 exclusively to Democrat politicians and groups’ and Sierra Club Independent Action spent $3.7 million supporting Democrat candidates.

“Russia also used its state media and social medial disinformation campaigns to attack America’s energy industry. Russia Today is especially focused on energy policy. According to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Russia Today’s coverage ‘is likely reflective of the Russian Government’s concern about the impact of fracking and US natural gas production on the global energy market and the potential challenges to Gazprom’s profitability.’ In 2021, after Biden’s first year in office, Gazprom, a Russian state-owned energy company, earned record profits.”

The paper trail is chilling and as clear a warning as one could ask for. Yet, as of this writing, it is not clear if Yellen has replied.

Recognizing the one strategic card the Russians have to play, the late U.S. Senator John McCain once said “Russia is a gas station masquerading as a country.”

In whatever private moments Putin may allow himself, he knows that Russia’s energy exports are the one truly genuine weapon he has against the West, democracy, and the forces of history that are coming for him. If he can prevent affordable energy independence from being achieved by America and her allies, he will have secured a victory beyond measure. But he will need the duped assistance of those in the White House to achieve that objective.


This article was published by the Gatestone Institute and is reproduced with permission.