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President Biden was accused of demonizing working-class service station owners when he demanded they reduce the price they are charging for gasoline and diesel fuel, while Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell publicly contradicted the president’s claim that Vladimir Putin is behind the pain at the pump.
During a Wednesday hearing, Sen. Bill Hagerty, R-Tenn. challenged Powell on whether the invasion of Ukraine caused the spike in gas prices:
“No, inflation was high before — certainly before the war in Ukraine broke out,” said Powell, a Trump nominee whom Biden recently reappointed to another term.
Hagerty replied he was heartened to hear Powell admit that with Biden “seem[ing] intent on deflecting blame.”
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Later Wednesday, Biden admonished service station owners, saying “this is a time of war [and] global peril.”
“To the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump… bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product,” he said.
On “The Five,” host Brian Kilmeade noted many gas station owners operate on the fiscal margins, as they set their prices based on what they purchase or contract gasoline supplies for from companies like Sunoco or BP.
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“Every time I walk in a gas station, I say, look at these billionaires asking me for change of a 20 and the 5-hour energy, that they just are just actually gouging us,” he said mockingly.
“It’s unbelievable. [Biden] doesn’t understand. He doesn’t admit what he doesn’t know.”
Kilmeade said Biden doesn’t understand how the oil industry – chiefly a futures market – works, adding the president was wrong to condemn a responsorial letter from Chevron CEO Mike Wirth as “hurt feelings” following a previous warning.
“The oil and gas industry didn’t get personal. They got specific. They gave them some things that need to be done,” Kilmeade said.
“[Wirth] said, I know you called me out … I want you to end permitting obstruction on natural gas projects, rescind steel tariffs, accelerate LNG, fix the environmental rules and make them simpler to handle. And they give them a timeline and when they can approve. And he came back and said, Oh, I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.”
Kilmeade and “The Five” panel further discussed how Biden’s sanctions on Russia may have had the opposite effect, as the ruble begins to gain against the dollar while Putin sells oil at steep discounts to China and India as the market spikes in the West.