(RepublicanWire.org) – President Joe Biden claimed on Tuesday that the only way to beat “tyrants” such as Russian President Vladimir Putin is for Americans to shun gasoline-powered cars and trucks and purchase expensive electric vehicles instead.
The president made his remarks during a press conference announcing a ban on the importation of Russian oil, which he said was aimed at “targeting the main artery of Russia’s economy.”
“Russian oil will no longer be acceptable at US ports and the American people will deal another powerful blow to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war machine,” Biden noted during his press conference.
The announcement led to new spikes in oil and gas prices, which have been climbing steadily for most of last year — shortly after Biden took office and began reversing many of former President Donald Trump’s domestic production-focused energy policies, including canceling the long-embattled Keystone XL pipeline.
“Gasoline has now reached its highest price in U.S. history, having blown past the previous 2008 high of $4.11. According to Gasbuddy, the price per gallon has gone up 49.1 cents in only a week,” The Western Journal reported.
That means Americans are now paying close to $50 to fill up a smaller car and nearly $80 or more to top off a larger vehicle like an SUV or pickup truck.
In January 2020, shortly before Trump left office, the national average price for a gallon of gas was around $2.58.
“Transforming our economy to run on electric vehicles powered by clean energy — with tax credits to help American families winterize their homes and use less energy — that will help and if we can and we do what we can, it will mean that no one has to worry about the price of gas [at the] pump in the future,” Biden explained during his press conference.
“That will mean tyrants like Putin won’t be able to use fossil fuels as weapons against other nations and it will make America a world leader in manufacturing and exporting clean energy technologies of the future, to countries all around the world,” he added.
But buying a new EV is simply out of reach for the vast majority of Americans at around $56,000, according to an analysis by CNBC. That compares with around $30,000 that Americans currently pay for a new gas-powered vehicle, on average.
Also, purchasing an electric vehicle comes with additional maintenance costs of between $5,000 and $20,000, currently, to replace worn batteries within five to 10 years.
“These battery packs only last between ten and 20 years, and the cost to replace them is sky-high,” The Western Journal reported.
Meanwhile, gasoline and diesel-powered engines can last for decades without needing an overhaul or replacement.
During his speech, Biden also took aim at the country’s oil producers, claiming they are essentially sitting on thousands of oil leases and are refusing to use them.
“It’s simply not true that my administration or policies are holding back domestic energy production, that’s simply not true,” Biden insisted.
“We’re approaching record levels of oil and gas production in the United States and we’re on track to set a record for production next year … The oil and gas industry has millions of acres leased. They have 9,000 permits to drill now. They could be drilling right now, yesterday, last week, last year,” he added.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki made the same claim this week as well in response to a question from Fox News.
“The suggestion that we are not allowing companies to drill is inaccurate,” she said. “I would suggest you ask the oil companies why they’re not using those if there’s a desire to drill more.”
Oil industry representatives at the CERAWeek energy conference sponsored by S&P Global cried foul, however, calling her remarks disingenuous.
“That accusation is a complete red herring,” American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC) CEO Anne Bradbury told FOX Business.
“It’s really a distraction from the fact that this administration has paused leasing on federal lands, something that we’re concerned about and something that we think needs to continue right away,” Bradbury added. “Right now we actually are developing more leases than we have in two decades so the White House certainly doesn’t have their facts straight on this.”
Energy Workforce and Technology Council CEO Leslie Beyer similarly noted that “some permits are viable and some are not” as an explanation of why some are not being used.
She also noted that Biden’s federal leasing moratorium is not helping the situation at all.
“The moratorium on leasing certainly adds an additional… block to American energy production, so that is the opposite of what we need to be doing right now,” she noted. “We need to stop the rhetoric that’s anti-fossil fuel and we need some clarity just in the regulatory sense that this administration is behind domestic energy production.”
Finally, banning Russian oil and switching to all-electric cars may be akin to trading one tyrant for another: China is the leading producer of many electric vehicle components, especially the lithium-ion batteries that power them.