President Joe Biden appeared to celebrate the gas price crisis on Monday as a moment of “incredible transition” away from a reliance on fossil fuels.
What did Biden say?
During a joint press conference with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida in Tokyo, a reporter asked Biden whether Americans should prepare for an economic recession.
When Biden said Americans should not worry about a recession, he claimed his administration has made “significant progress” toward improving the economy before repeating talking points about “Putin’s tax” (referring to record-high gas prices) and the war in Ukraine worsening domestic problems.
Then Biden said the quiet part out loud, exclaiming that, “God willing,” Americans will be less reliant on gas when the energy crisis subsides.
“Here’s the situation: 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.
President Biden Holds a Press Conference with Prime Minister Fumio Kishida of Japan
The Biden administration has repeatedly tried to reframe the energy crisis in positive light. It believes record-high prices at the gas pump (another new record was set on Monday) will encourage Americans to abandon their internal combustion engines for electric vehicles, all in the name of climate change.
However, there are two significant problems with this theory.
First, electric vehicles are significantly more expensive than internal combustion cars. For example, Kelley Blue Book said the average cost for an EV in February was $64,685, while the average costs of a compact car and compact SUV or crossover were $26,196 and $33,732, respectively. Thus, considering the median household income is under $70,000, most Americans would have to take on a massive amount of debt to purchase an EV.
Second, the cost of metals that are required in the manufacturing of EV batteries, such as lithium carbonate, has gone through the roof with no relief in sight.
At the end of his answer, Biden said he believes the best course of action to address the energy crisis is to pressure OPEC to increase production and to focus on growing the U.S. economy.
He made no mention of increasing domestic energy production.