Our friend Stephen Moore had a very revealing chart in the Monday, June 6, 2022 issue of his must-read Unleash Prosperity Hotline newsletter.
Mr. Moore documents that gas prices are now officially twice as high as they were when Trump left office – $2.39 a gallon in January 2021, versus $4.85 national average this weekend. Every fill-up of the minivan is now roughly $35 more expensive.
But what isn’t well known is that most of the states with the highest gas prices are Democrat-controlled blue states and most of the states with the lowest gas prices are in Republican-controlled red states.
(This chart is a little confusing because the AAA map has the red states in blue and the blue states coded red.)
Coincidence, asks Mr. Moore?
Here are the 10 states with regular unleaded gas at an average price of more than $5 a gallon:
Price per gallon
Wash D.C $5.10
It is worth noting only Alaska and Arizona are not controlled by Democrats.
Indeed, as Bethany Blankley documented in an article for The Center Square, gas prices are highest in Democrat-led states, according to a list of average gas prices by state published by AAA.
The top five states with the most expensive average cost of regular gasoline per gallon are led by Democratic governors and Democratic-controlled legislatures.
One reason why California gas is so expensive, observed Ms. Blankley, is because more than a $1 goes to taxes. Unlike Florida and some other U.S. states, which moved to reduce and suspend gas taxes, California has yet to do so.
Last November, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis asked state lawmakers to cut state gas and fuel taxes by $1 billion to offset rising gas prices, well before prices got to where they are now. He also proposed a gas tax holiday in his “Freedom First” budget.
However, even as President Biden begs OPEC to pump more oil, Senate Democrats are threatening to punish U.S. oil companies with a windfall-profits tax if they increase production. The contradiction nicely summarizes progressive energy policy, observed the Wall Street Journal editorial board.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz, rightly torched the Biden administration for their "war on energy," saying they would "rather fund terrorism" over American energy independence.
Cruz told Fox News Digital that President Biden and his administration have "created the energy crisis that we’re facing with their war on energy."
"They could solve it themselves, and I have recently introduced legislation that would restore American energy independence," Cruz said. "Instead of taking those options, they want to purchase oil from places like Iran and Venezuela."
"They would rather fund terrorism and the worst regimes on the planet," Cruz continued. "It’s appalling."
Sen. Cruz is right, it is appalling that Biden and the Democrats would rather beg for more oil from OPEC countries and from Venezuela's dictator, Nicolas Maduro, than sell oil leases and issue permits so American companies can drill on federal lands. The companies lack them because the administration is slow-walking the process to placate radical environmentalists.
As the Editors of the Washington Examiner observed, congressional Democrats seem clueless about how markets work. Oil companies, refiners, and retailers could not keep gas prices this high even if they wanted to.
More galling, however, is that the Democrats trying to point the finger of blame for high prices at private enterprise are pretending that they dislike high prices when, in truth, they have long pursued higher gasoline prices as a policy goal. The only reason they are upset about it now is that it is likely to contribute to their defeat in the midterm elections.
In the service of reducing carbon emissions, Democrats have long openly worked to raise the price of fossil fuel energy. They have done so by proposing carbon taxes, cap-and-trade schemes, higher leasing fees, and other measures to jack up costs so people burn less of it. This is why Barack Obama said, in answer to a related question about electricity, that his energy plan would make prices "necessarily skyrocket." This is why Democratic Rep. Ro Khanna praised BP's CEO less than six months ago for pledging to reduce oil and gas production by 40% by 2030. Reductions in oil production and rising gasoline prices are part of the Democrats' agenda and the Paris climate agenda.
There's even more to it than that. Over the past decade, the Democrats' overt hostility toward fossil fuels has even driven companies in the industry to sideline production, purely for public relations purposes, while prioritizing meaningless, politically correct carbon emissions goals. How can Democrats suddenly feign outrage at their incredible success in influencing the industry?
The reason Democrats float conspiracy theories about price-fixing and price-gouging is that they are terrified voters see their party as the main problem and are about to take their revenge at the polls this November.
Paris climate accord
Joe Biden energy policy
Blue state gas prices
Democrat energy policy