Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis this week slammed President Joe Biden for suggesting that sky-high gas prices present an opportunity for an “incredible transition” off fossil fuels.
Speaking at an event in Gadsden County on Tuesday, the Republican governor noted that as gas prices rise “dramatically,” he must “disagree with the president saying this is somehow an incredible opportunity to have this transition.”
“The fact of the matter is,” DeSantis continued, “that this is really punishing people at the pump. It’s very difficult to afford. What are going to do – just not go to work all of a sudden?”
“People are basically stuck having to pay these prices.”
Gas prices during May have continued to set all-time records in Florida and across the nation. According to AAA, the average price in Florida on Wednesday was $4.57 a gallon.
The governor was responding to comments Biden made on Monday during a press conference in Tokyo with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida.
“When it comes to the gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that is taking place that, God willing, when it’s over, we’ll be stronger, and the world will be stronger, and less reliant on fossil fuels when this is over,” said Biden.
“It seems to me the best thing I can do — in addition to try to get the Middle Eastern countries, including OPEC, to raise their production of oil and move along that route — is to see to it that we continue to grow our economy, create jobs,” Biden added.
Yet DeSantis predicted gas prices would rise over the Memorial Day weekend and would continue to do so over the summer. Florida, he added, was likely at or even below the national average, but the spike is hurtful to families.
“It’s not just the people getting it at the pump,” said DeSantis. “It goes into every business in terms of their energy costs, and it helps drive up the cost of everything that people consume.”
DeSantis added that people have potentially lost ground despite low unemployment because of ever-rising costs for food, energy, and other goods.
“I think these gas prices are a big problem,” the governor said. “So I hope that they would reevaluate that and not view that as an incredible thing.”
“The fact of the matter is that right now, at this time, you can’t run an economy on just solar and wind. … So we stand in favor of doing everything the U.S. can do to regain our energy independence.”