Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg turned heads Sunday when he declared that Americans who drive electric vehicles won’t have to worry anymore about paying high prices for gasoline.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart,” Buttigieg, the former mayor of South Bend, Ind., was discussing incentives contained in President Biden’s $2 trillion “Build Back Better” social and climate spending package to make it more affordable to purchase electric vehicles, saying that those drivers will “never have to worry about gas prices again.”
“The people who stand to benefit most from owning an EV are often rural residents who have the most distances to drive, who burn the most gas, and underserved urban residents in areas where there are higher gas prices and lower income,” said the transportation chief.
“They would gain the most by having that vehicle. These are the very residents who have not always been connected to electric vehicles that are viewed as kind of a luxury item,” he continued.
“If we can make the electric vehicle less expensive for everybody, more people can take advantage, and we’ll be selling more American-made EVs, which means in time they’ll become less expensive to make and to buy for everybody,” Buttigieg said.
His comments come as Americans are paying more at the pump for gas than they were this time a year ago. The average price in November 2020 was around $2.00 per gallon; today, prices range from around $2.50 to more than $4.20 per gallon across the country, according to GasBuddy.com.
One of former President Donald Trump’s accomplishments was making the country energy independent in terms of being able to rely solely on American sources of energy, but no sooner than he took office, President Biden issued a series of executive orders aimed at deemphasizing fossil fuel production.
For instance, Biden canceled the Keystone XL pipeline project that had been more than a decade in the making after Trump green-lighted it during his term. Also, Biden has refused to issue new oil and gas drilling leases on federal lands, while also suspending leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge area off of Alaska — all of which are seen by industry analysts as contributing to the current higher fuel prices.
In recent surveys, a majority of Americans blame Biden for higher prices at the gas pump and for inflation in general.
According to a survey from CBS News last week, more than two-thirds of Americans, or 67 percent, cite the president for rising prices that shrink their paychecks.
“With many problems that present themselves, Americans nonetheless evaluate a president on how well it’s addressed once it happens. Biden gets among his lowest marks on handling inflation of all the issues tested,” the network noted in a tweet.
BIDEN & INFLATION:
With many problems that present themselves, Americans nonetheless evaluate a president on how well it’s addressed once it happens. Biden gets among his lowest marks on handling inflation of all the issues tested. pic.twitter.com/QbhAFgPnE1
— CBS News Poll (@CBSNewsPoll) November 21, 2021
Just one-third of Americans gave Biden high marks for his handling of the issue.
“The results of the poll did not bode well for Biden, with less than half of respondents approving of his handling of major issues such as race relations, the economy, immigration and inflation,” The Hill reported, citing the CBS News/YouGov survey.
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