Through Philip Wegman at Real Clear Wire
By Wednesday, the White House was routine.
The national average per gallon of gasoline would drop, and the president’s staff publicly mark the drop as more evidence that the decision to use strategic oil reserves helped the everyday American. And while gas wasn’t and still isn’t cheap, the downward streak was undeniable. It lasted 99 consecutive days.
But J.D. Vans doesn’t see this as significant progress if prices are still high. If anything, the Ohio Republican now says the series “should be a national scandal.”
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“The fact that we’re depleting this country’s oil reserves so Joe Biden can claim victory on gas prices in the midterm elections is the most politically selfish thing an American president has done in a long time,” Vance told RealClearPolitics.
Instead of releasing more than 240 million barrels of that emergency supply, first in response to the coronavirus pandemic and then to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Vance has a simpler recommendation for a campaign-ready Biden as he races against Democrat Tim. Ryan on Ohio’s open Senate seat: “Biden should allow American companies to drill for oil, refine oil and transport oil.”
Vance wants voters to hold Ryan accountable on Biden’s energy policies, for example, to keep the White House’s moratorium on new federal oil and gas leases in mind when voting in November. Republicans don’t just see this as an economic issue. He believes it also symbolizes a larger class divide in America between those who can easily reverse the weather changes brought about by new climate policies and those who cannot.
“The elite who run Democratic politics make too much money to care about inflation. They live in cities where many of them don’t even own cars,” he argued. “But here in Ohio, most of us have to buy gas to get around.” could work and do what we have to do to live.”
That kind of populist message should resonate in a state that Donald Trump carried by eight percentage points in 2020. But Ohio’s Senate race remains muted, with Vance leading Ryan by just two points, according to the RealClearPolitics average. One reason: Ryan has been aggressive with independent voters, campaigning for a split with his own party in Congress, even at times siding with Trump and accusing his opponent, a Yale Law School graduate, former corporate lawyer and former Silicon Valley venture capitalist. be true out of contact elitist.
But when Ryan recently told plumbers and steam fitters that it was time to “get on board with natural gas” and that fossil fuels were “a wonderful opportunity for Eastern Ohio,” Vance balked.
“The guy is betting on us being stupid,” the Republican said, insisting that Ryan’s “public policy career path” is to try to ban fossil fuels, but now that he’s running for office in Ohio, he knows. it is unpopular and he runs away from it.
Vance’s campaign claims that Rep. Ryan, despite his blue-collar rhetoric, is no different than any other liberal progressive. Republicans stress, as the congressman from Youngstown told the Washington Post in 2019, that the federal government should “significantly increase oversight and regulation of the natural gas industry” and should “step in and shut down” if companies do not improve their environmental performance. fracking operations.” Vance also notes that Ryan supported Biden’s drilling moratorium and opposed legislation to repeal the permitting process for oil and gas pipelines.
According to Vance, his opponent “completely abandoned” the oil and natural gas industry in light of the current administration’s increased regulation, “but he says he likes natural gas now because he knows it’s politically popular.”
Ryan’s campaign says just the opposite, pointing the RCP at natural gas-fired power plants in his home district, such as the Lordstown plant, which he said in April would help “kick Vladimir Putin’s feet out from under him.”
Ryan’s team also cites a 2012 letter Ryan sent to then-President Barack Obama urging the administration to support LNG exports, his support for a pipeline in Ohio and his recent decision to co-sign legislation by Sen. Joe Manchin. streamline the permitting process for new domestic energy projects.
“Once again, the phony San Francisco J.D. Vance is trying to cover up the fact that he has questioned his support for natural gas by lying about Tim’s long time fighting like hell for Ohio’s energy industry,” Ryan campaign spokesman Jordan Fudge said. remarks Vance made in 2020, expressing support for natural gas while noting its limitations to move the United States toward a “clean energy future.”
While the White House has tried to curb rising energy costs, Biden has also cited higher gas prices as accelerating the transition to a future where the country is less dependent on fossil fuels. His administration has touted electric vehicles as a long-term solution that would insulate American drivers from the pain of geopolitical crises like the current war in Ukraine. For his part, Ryan, running for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination in a crowded field that also included Joe Biden, called for a ban on gas-powered vehicles.
“I hope we won’t have to wait until 2050. How are things going – Senator [Bernie] Sanders and I got into that debate a little bit. He thought he was going to ban gas cars in 2040, and to be honest, it’s like okay, great, whatever,” Ryan told voters in New Hampshire. “But if we wait until 2040 to get rid of gas-powered vehicles, we’re doing something terribly wrong.”
His Senate campaign has since said Ryan’s comments were meant to signal his desire to “participate in creating new job opportunities” in Ohio. But Vance counters that Ryan’s call to ban gas-powered vehicles has turned the race into a referendum on the internal combustion engine. He says that “people should be able to drive whatever car they want.”
What about the administration’s promise that an electric vehicle future will create manufacturing jobs? Vance thought they were “a bit reminiscent” of the old Obama-era idea that out-of-work miners could be taught to “code.” He doesn’t knock new computer programming jobs or the production of new electric vehicles. “But let’s not kid ourselves,” Vance said, “if you create 500 electric car jobs but destroy 2,000 gas car workers’ jobs, Ohioans are really hurt on the grid.”
The batteries needed to power electric vehicles are so inextricably linked to China’s lithium and cobalt mining, Vance added, that “unless you really develop the Native American economy and all those things, investing in the EV industry might help a little bit, but on the grid it’s going to make a lot of Ohio population worse.
Democrat talk of a clean energy revolution is arrogant. The results, according to Vance, are devastating.
“We’re living in the greatest energy economy of my lifetime, at a time when we have the most aggressive clean energy policies,” he said. “Promises clearly do not correspond to reality. We have seen what this policy leads to – what it leads to is the weakening and stealing from the American working class. The disparity between promises and results, Vance pointed out, was another example of “the huge difference in lifestyle from coastal liberals to actual middle-class people in Ohio.”
Vance and Ryan are supported by their respective party champions, who in turn are equally unpopular with opposing sides of the electorate. While Biden and Ryan appeared together earlier this month at the inauguration of a new computer chip factory in Ohio, the congressman says he is running as an “independent” and has publicly questioned whether the president should seek a second term. Meanwhile, Vance, once a Trump skeptic like many conservatives, now welcomes Trump’s support.
The former president praised Vance as an “incredible patriot who will fight Biden and the far-left media every day” before dismissing media reports that Republican Senate candidates have distanced him. Not Vance. That Ohio Republican, Trump told the crowd at Saturday’s rally, “kissed my ass.”
Asked about Trump’s choice of words, Vance said, “I know we had a fun rally, and I think he did exactly what he needed to do for the perspective of my campaign, and that’s highlight the fact that Tim Ryan is a lying fraud , who pretends to support Trump’s policies, when in fact he supports the policies of Biden and Nancy Pelosi.
This article was originally published by RealClearPolitics and was made available via RealClearWire.