Republicans are taking it to the streets, or more specifically the nation’s gas stations, to register people to vote.
The GOP is counting on voters making the connection that President Joe Biden’s energy policies are largely to blame for the spike in gas prices.
A newly released Emerson College poll supports this view, showing 39 percent of those surveyed blame the Biden administration, 21 percent blame sanctions on Russia and 18 percent think the oil companies are the problem.
The poll was conducted from March 18-20 with 1,023 registered voters.
Thank you to everyone who is supporting the @GOP gas station movement!🇺🇸We will be back out there Wednesday morning at 8am! If you are tired of the current White House administration making bad decisions for your family and businesses, then come register to vote!DM us for info!🇺🇸 pic.twitter.com/bGQE3IMCm0
— Arizona GOP Latino Outreach (@LatinoGopAZ) March 21, 2022
A year ago, shortly after Biden took office, the price of a gallon of gasoline was $2.88, and it has been on the rise since, according to the American Automobile Association.
The national average currently sits at $4.24 — or a 47 percent increase.
“It’s the Biden gas hike … This is actually the one promise Joe Biden kept. He wanted to kill American energy. He’s done it, and we’re paying at the pump for it,” Republican National Committee chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told Fox News on Monday.
“He won’t even open it up, knowing Americans are struggling, so it is the Biden hike, and we’re taking advantage and registering voters” at gas stations, she further stated.
Americans are struggling to pay the #BidenGasHike.
@GOPChairwoman highlights how the RNC is registering voters at the gas station because Americans know Joe Biden is to blame for the pain at the pump. pic.twitter.com/Po2zGAYysv
— GOP (@GOP) March 21, 2022
Ben Petersen, the communications director for Arizona’s RNC, told The Hill, “Arizonans are frustrated with paying the record-high gas prices we’ve seen recently. This is an issue that affects almost every single Arizonan.”
“There’s no doubt that everyone is feeling the pain at the pump, so a gas station right now may be the very best possible place for one of our volunteers to have a conversation with someone and get someone signed up to vote,” he added.
Across the country in North Carolina, volunteers also registered people to vote over the weekend.
“Great to see the #NCBoots Team in the field. NC knows that Democrats’ energy policies have driven gasoline prices to record highs and we need #GOP majorities in the House and Senate to unleash,” North Carolina Republican Party chairman Michael Whatley tweeted.
Great to see the #NCBoots Team in the field. NC knows that Democrats’ energy policies have driven gasoline prices to record highs and we need #GOP majorities in the House and Senate to unleash #AmericanEnergy! https://t.co/PScCc3pUGn
— Michael Whatley (@WhatleyNCGOP) March 19, 2022
Biden has sought to blame Russia’s invasion of Ukraine for the gas price increases.
“Let’s be absolutely clear about why prices are high now. They’re high for two reasons. One was COVID — the way the global economy works,” he said in remarks to the National League of Cities last Monday.
“Now, the second big reason for inflation is Vladimir Putin,” Biden argued. “Make no mistake — the current spiking gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin.”
BIDEN: “Make no mistake, the current spike in gas prices is largely the fault of Vladimir Putin. It has nothing to do with the American Rescue Plan.” pic.twitter.com/3BNvpSEwfE
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) March 14, 2022
The president also blamed oil producers.
“Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too,” Biden tweeted last week.
“Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon. Now it’s $4.31. Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans,” he added.
Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too.
Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon. Now it’s $4.31.
Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans. pic.twitter.com/uLNGleWBly
— President Biden (@POTUS) March 16, 2022
According to MarketWatch, the price of a barrel of oil Tuesday was $111.30.
In the early days of his presidency, Biden signed executive orders under the auspices of addressing climate change, which included suspending oil and gas exploration leasing on federal lands and reinstating an Obama-era carbon dioxide emission federal fee to oil drilling operations that had been lowered significantly under former President Donald Trump.
Additionally, the Biden administration shut down oil exploration in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and canceled the Keystone XL pipeline from Canada.
Reuters reported in January that the Department of the Interior said it would be scrapping a Trump administration decision to expand leasing and development in the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, which is separate from ANWR.
Biden is holding fast to these policies, though the U.S. is producing over 1 million barrels of oil a day less than its pre-pandemic high under Trump.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration reported in December 2019, U.S. production topped out at 12.9 million barrels a day while in December 2021 it was 11.6 million barrels.
Each barrel of oil produces about 20 gallons of gasoline.