Politics

Kamala Harris, Pete Buttigieg criticized for being ‘tone-deaf’ on energy

Republican and conservative commentators are accusing Vice President Kamala Harris and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg of being “tone-deaf,” given their recent focus on electric vehicles and not on soaring gas prices.

Ms. Harris and Mr. Buttigieg faced blowback following an event Monday in which they promoted new spending included in the bipartisan infrastructure law and the American Rescue Plan directed toward transitioning the nation toward zero-emission vehicles, including electric buses, and creating a national network of electric vehicle chargers.

“The Biden Administration could not be more tone-deaf” given the way soaring gas prices are hitting people at the pump,” Rep. Markwayne Mullin, Oklahoma Republican and a member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, said in a statement.

“Vice President Kamala Harris and DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg spent the afternoon promoting electric vehicles and Green New Deal policies,” Mr. Mullin tweeted Monday. “Are you kidding me?”

Republicans say the Biden administration has embraced disastrous policies that have made the nation less energy independent. They say the nation must be focused on doing whatever it can to lower gasoline prices at home, which have been surging following the Russian invasion of Ukraine, putting added financial pressure on individuals and families across the United States.

The United States has been a key importer of Russian energy and has imported tens of millions of barrels of crude oil from Russia every month.

The war in Ukraine also has sent the cost of nickel skyrocketing to the point where the London Metal Exchange suspended trading on it.

Nickel is used in stainless steel and is one of the most widely used ingredients for electric vehicle batteries.

Conservative commentator Tomi Lahren said Tuesday on Fox Nation that Ms. Harris and Mr. Buttigieg are “both tone-deaf, and they both don’t want to face the music.”

“They think this repeated talking point of green jobs and green energy is going to do the trick, but it simply will not,” Ms. Lahren said. “Right now the world is in crisis, we have an energy crisis, and if we can make it here at home, which we can, that is absolutely what we should be doing.”

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