White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre appeared to struggle with her response when Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked about President Joe Biden’s insistence on forcing Americans to make the transition from fossil fuels to green energy.
Doocy pressed Jean-Pierre on the subject during Thursday’s press briefing, noting that such a transition was painful for Americans who could not afford a $60,000 electric car any more than they could $5-per-gallon gas — and asking how much pain Biden viewed as acceptable.
DOOCY: "A lot of people can't afford a $60,000 electric car, and they also are having a hard time affording gas right now. That sounds like a painful transition, so how much of that kind of pain is the president ok with?"
KJP: "That's apples and oranges. It's not the same." pic.twitter.com/PJTnX8Djn7
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 23, 2022
“The president yesterday was talking about this transition to greener energy someday,” Doocy began, adding, “A lot of people can’t afford a $60,000 electric car and they also are having a hard time affording gas right now. That sounds like a painful transition, so how much of that kind of pain is the president ok with?”
“No, that transition — we are in a transition to clean energy,” Jean-Pierre replied. “That is something that is important. It is going to create jobs when you think about electric vehicles. It is going to give — give families some tax credits, it’s gonna be really important to have …”
“Right now they can’t afford an electric car, the average price is $61,000,” Doocy pushed back.
“Well, we’re going to continue to move forward with what we have put for the bipartisan infrastructure —” Jean-Pierre tried again.
“Five dollar a gallon gas or a $61,000 electric car —” Doocy interrupted.
“That’s not — first of all — that’s apples and oranges, it’s not the same,” Jean-Pierre objected. “What we’re trying to do right now is to deal with an acute problem right now, which is why the president again asked for a 90-day suspension of the gas tax, the gas tax holiday. It is going to make a difference, Peter, we’re talking about $0.18 on the federal level, we’re talking about an average of $0.30 on the state level, and if the oil refinery does their job, if they do what we are asking them to do which is put their profits back in so that gas prices can go down, that’s almost a dollar per gallon. That matters.”
Critics of the move have argued that a gas tax holiday — especially if the federal government acts alone — will do little to ease the pain at the pump. If that tax holiday saves consumers $0.18 per gallon, that adds up to a savings of $2.70 for the average 15-gallon tank. At $5 per gallon, a 15-gallon fill-up costs $75 — meaning the consumer still pays $72.30 for a tank of gas. If gas goes up to $6 per gallon — $90 for a 15-gallon tank — the total savings would still be $2.70 and the net cost would be $87.30.