Reminder: Fox News Once Told Us “No President Can Control Oil Prices”

March 10, 2022

In 2008, a much simpler time, gas prices were soaring as election season began.
Fox News, as the Republican Party mouthpiece, wanted to make sure none in their flock blamed then-President George Dubya Bush. Media Matters put together a mash-up of their (actually perfectly legit and logical) commentary, above.

Fast forward to today, gas prices are soaring, and Republicans ( and Fox News) now bending over backward to blame it on Joe Biden.(while beating him up to block imports of Russian oil)
New York Times did a fact check.

New York Times:

WHAT WAS SAID

“This administration wants to ramp up energy imports from Iran and Venezuela. That is the world’s largest state sponsor of terror and a thuggish South America dictator, respectively. They would rather buy from these people than buy from Texas, Alaska and Pennsylvania.”
— Senator Mitch McConnell, Republican of Kentucky and the minority leader, in a speech on Tuesday

“Democrats want to blame surging prices on Russia. But the truth is, their out-of-touch policies are why we are here in the first place. Remember what happened on Day 1 with one-party rule? The president canceled the Keystone pipeline, and then he stopped new oil and gas leases on federal lands and waters.”
— Representative Kevin McCarthy, Republican of California and the minority leader, in a speech on Tuesday

“In the four years of the Trump-Pence administration, we achieved energy independence for the first time in 70 years. We were a net exporter of energy. But from very early on, with killing the Keystone pipeline, taking federal lands off the list for exploration, sidelining leases for oil and natural gas — once again, before Ukraine ever happened, we saw rising gasoline prices.”
— Former Vice President Mike Pence in an interview on Fox Business on Tuesday

These claims are misleading. The primary reason for rising gas prices over the past year is the coronavirus pandemic and its disruptions to global supply and demand.

“Covid changed the game, not President Biden,” said Patrick De Haan, the head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy, which tracks gasoline prices. “U.S. oil production fell in the last eight months of President Trump’s tenure. Is that his fault? No.”

“The pandemic brought us to our knees,” Mr. De Haan added.

In the early months of 2020, when the virus took hold, demand for oil dried up and prices plummeted, with the benchmark price for crude oil in the United States falling to negative $37.63 that April. In response, producers in the United States and around the world began decreasing output.

As pandemic restrictions loosened worldwide and economies recovered, demand outpaced supply. That was “mostly attributable” to the decision by OPEC Plus, an alliance of oil-producing countries that controls about half the world’s supply, to limit increases in production, according to the U.S. Energy Information AdministrationDomestic production also remains below prepandemic levels, as capital spending declined and investors remained reluctant to provide financing to the oil industry.

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has only compounded the issues.

“When you throw a war on top of this, this is possibly the worst escalation you can have of this,” said Abhiram Rajendran, the head of oil market research at Energy Intelligence, an energy information company. “You’re literally pouring gasoline on general inflationary pressure.”

These factors are largely out of Mr. Biden’s control, experts agreed, though they said he had not exactly sent positive signals to the oil and gas industry and its investors by vowing to reduce emissions and fossil fuel reliance.

Mr. De Haan said the Biden administration was “clearly less friendly” to the industry, which may have indirectly affected investor attitudes. But overall, he said, that stance has played a “very, very small role pushing gas prices up.”

Below, true to form, when the Black guy became President, Fox pivoted to “The President is responsible for high gas prices”.

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