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Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg claimed during an appearance on ABC’s “The View” Friday that there was “no quick fix” to the record high gas prices plaguing Americans as he deflected towards other issues and placed blame on oil companies.
Meanwhile, Buttigieg failed to mention President Biden’s cancellation of the planned Keystone XL pipeline.
“There’s always a lot of politics around gas prices. We’re focused on what’s actually going to bring the relief,” Buttigieg said. “So the president authorized the release of the reserves. That’s going to help,”
Buttigieg offered excuses to the co-hosts of the liberal show on why Americans were continuing to face pain at the pump.
“There are other steps that I think will help, including asking Congress to hold companies accountable if they’re just sitting on these permits, and not producing while pocketing all of these profits,” he said. “Look, there’s no quick or magic fix. Otherwise, every president would immediately turn the dial down on gas prices if it worked that way.”
Buttigieg claimed the administration was taking action on fuel efficiency requirements, but noted that such action wouldn’t immediately provide relief for Americans. He then redirected the discussion to topics unrelated to gas prices in what appeared to be an effort to change the subject, mentioning things like the cost of child care, prescription drugs, and care for the elderly.
Co-host Joy Behar implored Buttigieg to speak out more and deflect blame from Biden over the record-high prices, adding that she wanted to see more Democrats coming to his defense. She didn’t, however, mention the hesitation by some Democrats up for reelection in this year’s midterms to appear too close to Biden, considering his increasingly low approval rating across the country.
Buttgieg responded that it was important for them to talk about what they were doing to make things easier for people. However, he proceeded to redirect blame for gas prices, this time toward the economic downturn due to the coronavirus pandemic and the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine.
The transportation secretary made no mention of the impact of President Biden’s decision shortly after taking office to halt the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, the project intended to bring oil into the U.S. from Canada, as well as his decision to freeze new oil and gas leases on federal lands.
The White House has maintained that it has no plans to revive the pipeline and that it wouldn’t address the problems currently facing the U.S.
Later in the discussion, Buttigieg slammed the Florida bill coined by Democrats as the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, accusing Republicans of moving ahead with the bill for “political reasons” that involved, he argued, a lack of plans to deal with skyrocketing inflation and high gas prices.
Buttigieg’s criticism appeared to contradict his earlier defense of the administration that there was “no quick fix” to gas prices. He also did not provide an explanation on how a state government would provide the solution necessary to solve issues facing the federal government.
Buttigieg then repeated the unsubstantiated claim by liberal critics that the bill would lead to people and children being “hurt” over its implementation, but didn’t provide any examples to support the argument.