While gas prices slap Kansans, Sharice Davids supports Biden energy policies

WASHINGTON, D.C. – As gasoline prices outpace their level a year ago for Kansas drivers, a handful of Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives last week joined Republicans for a statement condemning Biden Administration energy policies they charge have needlessly inflated prices and depleted family incomes – but Kansas 2nd District Congresswoman Sharice Davids was not among them.

With a  gallon of gasoline bumping $3.53 nationwide and $3.17 on average last week in the Sunflower State according to Kansas AAA, four Democrats broke ranks with their party in the House vote and joined Republicans in a congressional resolution condemning Biden energy policies they say have led to curtailed U.S. domestic oil production, higher gasoline prices in the U.S. and higher petroleum prices on the world market. Dropping U.S. production, critics maintain, has raised worldwide oil prices and aided Russian President Vladimir Putin’s funding of his invasion of Ukraine.

 David’s voted with 199 other Democrats against the 217 supporters of the resolution, effectively asserting their endorsement of Biden’s struggling energy policies. Her Washington, D.C., office did not respond to emails from the Review seeking comment as of our press deadline on Monday.

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The 32-point resolution gave broad criticism of Biden’s impact on domestic and world energy markets for fossil fuels, a  system Biden has been quoted as pledging to end in favor of highly subsidized, highly expensive renewable sources like wind and solar. The resolution charged Biden with blocking U.S. mineral development despite massive increases in demand, such as plans to block the export of liquefied natural gas after the US became a global leader in LNG exports for the first time in 2023.

The resolution noted an estimated increase of 37.2% in overall energy prices in Biden’s first 26 months in office –  the largest increase of any of the last seven presidents. It also noted numerous other actions by President Biden designed to curtail fossil fuel production in the us, like adding extraction restrictions to 13 million Acres of the National Petroleum Reserve in Alaska, cancellation of the Keystone XL pipeline on his first day in office, And implementation of a 20-year mining moratorium on $225,000 Acres of the Superior National Forest in northern Minnesota. The resolution also charged Biden violated the mineral leasing act which requires the department of the Interior to hold quarterly lease sales, after he halted all new oil and natural gas leasing on federal lands on his first day in office.

Kansas AAA said prices typically take an upturn in the spring, but demand for fuel because of high prices has been softer this spring than in typical years. Still, 

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Kansas other three congressmen, Jake let turner, Ron Estes and Tracy mann, all supported the resolution. David’s has typically voted and locked up with most all Biden Administration policies, breaking with the president only occasionally on more high-profile political issues. she faces three Republican contenders for her office in the November election who will seek the Republican nomination in the August primary.

According to Kansas AAA’s weekly report, even with a typical spring last week’s prices in Kansas were higher than a year ago.

The national average for a gallon of gas rose 11 cents since last week to $3.52, according to the organization’s website. While domestic gas demand has been lackluster, rising oil prices helped push pump prices higher. 

“Gas prices are a lot like seasonal temperatures,” said Andrew Gross, AAA spokesperson. “They start to rise with the arrival of spring.” He said the national average for gas is now higher than a year ago, which hasn’t been observed since late December.

According to new data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA), gas demand decreased slightly from 9.04 to 8.81 million b/d last week. Meanwhile, total domestic gasoline stocks dropped by 3.3 million bbl to 230.8 million bbl. Lower demand would typically contribute to pushing pump prices lower or slowing increases, but rising oil prices have pushed them higher instead, the website said. Friday’s national average of $3.52 is 25 cents more than a month ago and nine cents more than a year ago, the report said.

Dane Hicks is a graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism and the United States Marine Corps Officer Candidate School at Quantico, VA. He is the author of novels "The Skinning Tree" and "A Whisper For Help." As publisher of the Anderson County Review in Garnett, KS., he is a recipient of the Kansas Press Association's Boyd Community Service Award as well as more than 60 awards for excellence in news, editorial and photography.