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The Philadelphia Inquirer argued that voters shouldn’t blame President Joe Biden for high gas prices in an editorial on Thursday.
The opinion piece, titled "Don’t blame Biden for higher gas prices," emphasized that the rising gas prices are largely out of the president’s control.
"Presidents have little control over gas prices, but that hasn’t stopped angry motorists from blaming President Joe Biden for the record highs they are paying," the editorial board wrote.
"Current pump prices are due largely to the basic economics of supply and demand. Much of the global economy shut down during the pandemic, and oil prices plummeted as demand evaporated virtually overnight. In April 2020, the price of a barrel of oil dropped below zero for the first time ever, and gasoline dropped below $2 a gallon."
President Joe Biden speaks about gas prices in the South Court Auditorium on the White House campus, Wednesday, June 22, 2022, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
The article also highlighted Russia’s invasion of Ukraine as a factor in rising gas prices regardless of Biden’s involvement, echoing Biden's "Putin price hike" talking point.
"He is largely right. After Russia invaded Ukraine, the price of oil surged above $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014," the Philadelphia Inquirer argued.
Although the paper acknowledged that gas prices were rising before the war in Ukraine, the piece downplayed the detail, noting that Russia "exacerbated" the problem. Further, it insisted, Biden has "taken steps" to lower prices, despite previously claiming Biden had no control.
"So blaming gas prices on Biden ignores what’s really happening. Biden has taken steps to lower prices, including releasing one million barrels of oil a day from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve and calling on oil companies — which, by the way, have posted record profits — to increase production," the Philadelphia Inquirer wrote.
Fuel prices at a Chevron gas station in Menlo Park, California, US, on Thursday, June 9, 2022. Stratospheric Fuel prices have broken records for at least seven days with the average cost of fuel per gallon hitting $4.96 as of June 8, according to the American Automobile Association. (Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)
Instead of blaming Biden, the paper concluded by suggesting that lawmakers are to blame for refusing to incentivize green energy solutions, particularly Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va.
"Instead of politicizing oil prices, it’s time for lawmakers on both sides to work together to incentivize more green energy solutions, such as tax credits for wind and solar power, which were part of the Biden administration’s Build Back Better bill that collapsed last year," the article read.
The piece concluded, "Voters wanting to cast blame might want to turn their attention to Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) and the Republicans in the House and Senate who opposed efforts to boost green energy and support the child tax credit. These high gas prices aren’t Joe Biden’s fault."
HOUSTON, TEXAS - JUNE 09: Brie Olootu pumps gas at an Exxon Mobil gas station on June 09, 2022 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Brandon Bell/Getty Images)
Last week, former Obama Treasury adviser Steven Rattner told MSNBC's "Morning Joe," "[Y]ou almost have to thank Joe Manchin for blocking [Build Back Better] because $6.5 trillion of spending in this economy would make these [inflation] numbers look small."
Host Joe Scarborough agreed, "My God, I just wonder what would have happened if progressives would've gotten their six-trillion dollar wish earlier this year."
Over the past few months, various media outlets have attempted to either downplay the impact of high gas prices or claim that they "aren’t Joe Biden’s fault" as his approval rating falls.
Lindsay Kornick is an associate editor for Fox News Digital. Story tips can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter: @lmkornick.