Democrats are rebranding their climate change and tax bill worth $739 billion as a boost to the country’s energy independence. This comes as most parts of the United States still have high gas prices.
Many may notice a shift in tone in several new campaign ads by Democrats and House Majority PAC. The ads claim that the Democratic Party utilized its narrow control in Congress to get legislation approved to boost energy independence.
A House Majority PAC ad says: “January 2021, Joe Biden becomes president inheriting a deeply damaged economy. Democrats went to work … [passing] a new law that boosts energy independence.”
Democrats Claim Bill is Crucial to Achieving Energy Independence
Several Democrats running in swing seats have echoed the sentiments presented in the ad. For example, Rep. Sharice Davids (D-Kan.) has an ad that showcases her efforts in restoring supply train infrastructure in the U.S., and she’s starting with energy independence.
In her ad, she says: “We can build, produce or grow anything in Kansas, so it's crazy to face high prices or shortages because we outsource something that can be done right here at home. It's why I work so hard to boost manufacturing and made-in-America provisions. So, our supply chain starts right here … while making America energy independent for the long run.”
The said bill, agreed upon after months of negotiations between parties, includes climate change subsidies worth $369 billion.
Most of the budget is allocated for clean energy incentives ad tax credits for those buying electric vehicles. Dems claim that this legislation expands energy independence by putting investments in domestic fossil fuel alternatives.
Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who heads the Senate Finance Committee, claimed: “This bill will reduce energy costs, secure our energy independence and drastically cut carbon emissions. For the first time, the tax code will reward emissions reductions and encourage the development of new clean energy technologies as soon as they come online.”
The tone shift connected to energy independents points to a crucial departure from the last few election cycles. Back then, this topic had usually been a hallmark of Republican campaigns. This shift comes as gas prices, despite going down nationally, remain almost a dollar higher than last year, as per the American Automobile Association.
GOP members mentioned that these gas prices have Democrats reeling, especially with the 4-decade high inflation and Biden prioritizing the fight against climate change.
“Joe Biden trashed American energy independence, ran on destroying American energy producers, and is the reason gas remains over $1.50 higher than when he took office,” RNC spokesman Will O'Grady said. “Voters know Biden and Democrats delivered high prices, new taxes and a recession to Americans.”
The White House and Democratic Party deny that the president’s policies caused the rising energy prices. Instead, they claim that the persistent supply chain crisis and the Russia-Ukraine conflict have caused the global energy market to provide price-gouging companies with a significant advantage.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone (D-N.J.) said earlier this year: “At a time when Americans are paying record high prices for gas, Big Oil is taking advantage of the instability caused by Russia’s unjust war in Ukraine and our ongoing economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic to rake in record profits,”
However, their arguments failed to sway the opinion of a large part of the public. According to a survey by Fox News, even if a slim majority of Americans believe gasoline prices were going down, only 19% of those respondents gave the president credit.
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