Huge gas price hikes will hurt poor Americans – ex-Pentagon spokesman
Dave Lapan, a former spokesperson for the US Department of Defense as well as the Department of Homeland Security, has opined that while the latest increase in gas prices is bound to adversely affect some sections of American society, the sacrifice is necessary, and negligible compared to that of Ukrainians.
Responding to an op-ed in the Washington Post on Wednesday, Lapan tweeted that the “increase in gas prices will definitely hurt many low income, working Americans.” However, according to the retired Pentagon official, for the rest of American society, “it’s an inconvenience we can handle.” He went on to urge people stateside to weigh their gripes over the rising gas prices against “what the people of #Ukraine are enduring, and sacrificing, and overcoming.”
Agree. The increase in gas prices will definitely hurt many low income, working Americans, but for the rest of us, it’s an inconvenience we can handle. Look at what the people of #Ukraine are enduring, and sacrificing, and overcoming.#PutinsWar— David Lapan 🇺🇦 (@DaveLapanDC) March 9, 2022
The article that Lapan was commenting on and agreed with is titled “$4 gas is here. It’s worth it.”
The opening line announces that “U.S. gas prices hit a record high on Tuesday of $4.17 a gallon, surpassing the prior all-time high set in the summer of 2008.”
And while admitting that Americans have already begun venting their frustration and concerns on the internet, the article advises them to realize that “paying $4 – or even $4.50 – for gas is a price worth paying to defend democracy and international order and stop funding Putin’s war.” Moreover, the op-ed in the Post states that prices for some other natural resources and raw materials are also going through the roof thanks to the sanctions the US and its allies have imposed on Russia, as well as general uncertainty. And yet, the author calls on Western leaders to keep putting the heat on the Kremlin.
On Tuesday, President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports to the US in light of Russia’s military offensive against Ukraine. The president acknowledged that the decision would likely lead to higher costs for Americans.
Earlier that day, Britain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson, too, pledged to stop importing Russian oil by the end of the year, describing the move as “another economic blow to the Putin regime.”
Mainland Europe, which is far more dependent on Russian energy than either the UK or the US, has stopped short of phasing out natural gas and oil imports from Russia so far.
Germany’s top diplomat, Annalena Baerbock, for instance, acknowledged on Tuesday that if Berlin was to take its cue from Washington on the issue, the country would grind to a halt the next day, as a third of all Germany’s oil imports come from Russia.
Following the start of Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine and the sweeping sanctions that the West imposed on Moscow, natural gas prices have soared in the EU, with officials warning that the trend is likely to remain for the long haul.
The EU as a whole, as well as individual member states, have, however, vowed to switch to alternative energy sources over time, with liquefied natural gas from Middle Eastern suppliers and renewables named among the possible options.