WASHINGTON D.C. — Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., joined several of her GOP colleagues Wednesday to criticize President Joe Biden Administration’s policies that, they say, have fueled inflation and rising energy costs.
Capito said inflation has risen 5.4 percent, the most in 13 years, the cost of gasoline has increased by about $1 a gallon since Biden took over in January and the price of home heating is expected to rise 54 percent this winter.
“The White House said they are working on it,” she said. “They had better be working on it. People feel it every single day.”
People on fixed incomes are faced with stark choices on how to spend the money they have, she added.
“When I think about my fellow West Virginians, many on fixed incomes, they are going to have make a choice on how warm they can stay or if they can go out… or if they can buy enough food in their own home,” she said. “They are going to have to make these choices because of the rise (in energy costs).”
Capito said the problems are caused, at least in part, because of “regulation upon regulation” related to the production of oil and natural gas, including nixing the Keystone pipeline, which cuts into the eventual quantity of oil from Canada.
“It is going to hit everywhere,” she said of the rising costs. “It’s time for the administration to try to stop selling us talking points, and talking to the international community about how we are going to lead when we are leaving so may people behind here at home through the cost of energy.”
She was referring to Biden’s trip this weekend for the COP26 summit on climate change in Glasgow, Scotland.
Capito said the situation does not have to be this way, that the use of fossil fuels and pursuing renewables can be done at the same time.
Emission issues are primarily from transportation, not energy, she said, and everyone can work together on problems associated with that.
Incentivizing the technology of carbon capture and reusing it is a strategy that will work, she said, with the focus on all the things that will work, rather than on what will cost people jobs and drive up prices.
Capito said this is one reason money is needed for infrastructure projects, but that bill is still being held up in the House by a wing of the Democratic Party pushing the $3.5 trillion Build Back Better bill.
Negotiations continue on a compromise with the Build Back Better bill that would pave the way for House passage of the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
Other senators said the pandemic has had an impact related to supply and demand in the energy sector, but Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Biden policies prevent future energy production in the US.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said the rising costs are making it difficult for people to pay the bills.
“You have got to feel sorry for poor people,” he said.
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