Media preemptively attacks Republicans’ criticism of high gas prices after Russian oil ban

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On Tuesday, President Biden announced new efforts to ban Russian oil imports following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Unfortunately, many Americans are expected to face even higher gas prices for these sanctions. Ahead of Republican criticism, many media outlets preemptively attacked Republicans for exploiting the issue. 

Washington Post columnist Catherine Rampell explained in an op-ed that “Republicans are laying a trap for Biden on Russian energy sanctions.” She went on to accuse Republicans of “exploiting the economic pain” of Americans to attack Biden.

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Washington Post- Republicans are laying a trap for Biden on Russian energy sanctions

Washington Post- Republicans are laying a trap for Biden on Russian energy sanctions
(Fox News)

“Abruptly cutting Russia off from global energy markets would be painful for more than just the Russians. It could lead to a recession. It may nonetheless be the right thing to do — but we should all be clear-eyed about likely consequences,” Rampell wrote “And if Republicans truly believe our patriotic duty is to orchestrate a Western embargo of Russian energy, they should commit, today, to not politically exploiting the economic pain such sanctions will inevitably cause American consumers.”

While many Republicans and Democrats called for Biden to ban Russian oil since the start of the Ukraine invasion, many have also called on Biden to increase domestic oil drilling to offset the supply.

Rampell referred to this idea as “a fantasy — one born either of confusion about how energy markets work or a cynical desire to set up Biden.”

Other members of the media similarly accused Republicans of attempting to use the economic issues to attack Biden.

NBC reporters Sahil Kapur and Scott Wong covered the news of the sanctions writing, “Republicans cheer Russian oil ban and jeer Biden for rising gas prices.” 

“GOP leaders — eager to win back the House and Senate this fall — are trying to capitalize by blaming Biden and his energy policies for Americans paying more at the pump,” Kapur and Wong wrote. They also dismissed calls for increased domestic drilling.

Shell gas pump showing high gas prices in Lafayette, California, November 25, 2021. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)

Shell gas pump showing high gas prices in Lafayette, California, November 25, 2021. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Politico’s coverage focused on Republican backlash against inevitable gas price increases.

“Nearly all Republicans agree on a ban, too. But they have also used the topic to criticize Biden for limiting domestic oil and gas production that they argue can fill the gap created by a Russian import ban,” Politico wrote.

White the White House and several liberal defenders have claimed that there are 9,000 approved drilling permits that are not being used by oil companies to gouge prices, experts have called this a “red herring.”

“Once you lease land there is a whole process that you have to go through. First you have to actually discover whether actually there is oil and gas in that land. Second of all, you have to get a permit to actually develop that land,” American Petroleum Institute (API) president and CEO Mike Sommers told FOX Business.

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. 

FILE PHOTO: Pump jacks operate in front of a drilling rig in an oil field in Midland, Texas U.S. August 22, 2018. 
(Reuters/Nick Oxford)

On Twitter, several reporters and pundits attacked Republicans for criticizing Biden’s energy policies. 

New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser tweeted “so it begins–Republicans demand ban on Russian oil, complain about high oil prices and blame Democrats for them.”

MSNBC’s Stephanie Ruhle wrote “Next phase to watch from Republicans: – many pushed for Russian oil ban. Will they work with WH to find way to pump more fast and ease economic burden on consumers? OR cheer on higher prices / blaming Biden for inflation?”

CNN’s John Harwood responded “yes” to a tweet reading “So Republicans in Congress are pushing to ban Russian oil and gas imports—and to push Europe to do the same—which would send gas prices skyrocketing, which Republicans would then hang around Democrats’ necks in the midterms, am I reading that right?”

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Since taking office, President Biden has also enacted several executive orders and legislation that have discouraged or halted increased oil drilling in the United States. After his inauguration, he signed orders to ban new permits for oil and gas drilling and fracking on federal lands and waters for one year. Other orders included eliminating fossil fuel subsidies and revoking federal permits for the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Biden also drew further criticism for reportedly courting Venezuela, Saudi Arabia, and Iran for new oil deals rather than increase domestic drilling.

Fox News’ Tyler Olson contributed to this report.

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