Sterling Burnett of The Heartland Institute contends Democrats are trying to deflect blame for Biden policies that frown on oil and gas production.
"They're blaming Putin, the war, and oil and gas companies," says Burnett. "What they're not doing is blaming the people who are truly to blame, which is the Biden administration and their own policies. This is political theater – nothing more, nothing less."
Yesterday, during a House subcommittee hearing on gas prices, Representative Diana DeGette (D-Colorado) pointed out that prices haven't gone down at the pump since the White House announced efforts to release more U.S. supply into the market.
"Tell me if you have an idea why the price per barrel of oil is falling but the price at the pump is still saying 'just as high,'" DeGette asked the company executives giving testimony.
Myron Ebell of the Competitive Enterprise Institute offers a few thoughts on that line of thinking.
"Democrats think that if it goes up quickly it should go down just as quickly," notes Ebell. "The fact is, if … you're not part of a company-owned chain but you own a gas station and you work on tight margins, as they do, you have to make enough money from the current gas that you have in the tank from your last delivery [so you] have that money in the bank in order to pay for the next delivery."
And since gas deliveries aren't handled on credit, Ebell continues, private station owners have to actually pay.
"[That's why] when the price of oil starts to go down, you can't immediately lower the price of gas or you're going to lose money," he concludes. "If you start losing money, you're not going to be able to afford the next tank."
Oil executives who gave testimony on Wednesday included David Lawler (president and chair of BP America), Gretchen Watkins (president of Shell Oil), and Mike Wirth (chair and CEO of Chevron Corporation).