Buttigieg highlights declining gas prices after suggesting their rise was good for transitioning to EVs

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Department of Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was criticized earlier this week for suggesting that higher prices at the pump were actually beneficial for transitioning to electric vehicles. But Buttigieg appeared to sing a different tune on Thursday by touting a decline in gas prices. 

"Good morning! Gas prices are going down," Buttigieg tweeted.

The national average gas price, as of Thursday, was around $4.40 — down from about $4.60 a week prior, and around $4.97 a month before that. Still, the national average remained significantly higher than from a year ago at $3.16. The price of gas on Jan. 20, 2021 — the day President Biden took office — was about $2.39.

Buttigieg has repeatedly been slammed for his comments on electric vehicles, suggesting he was out of touch with the average American who can’t afford the luxury. 

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During an interview on a radio program last week, Buttigieg said the Biden administration was trying to cut the cost of electric vehicles "because when you have an electric vehicle, then you’re also gonna be able to save on gas, but you’ve got to be able to afford it in the first place." 

And while testifying earlier this week before the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Buttigieg said: "The more pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas, the more benefit there is for those who can access electric vehicles." 

U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg testifies before the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure during a hearing on “Implementing the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act” on Capitol Hill in Washington on Tuesday, July 19, (REUTERS/Sarah Silbiger / Reuters Photos)

Rep. Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., pressed Buttigieg on this point, asking: "So you’re saying the more pain we have, the more benefit we’re gonna get?" 

"No, that’s what you heard me say," Buttigieg replied. "I know you want me to say it so bad, but honestly, sir, what we’re saying is we could have no pain at all by making EVs cheaper for everyone." 

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has repeatedly blamed rising gas prices, and inflation more broadly, on Russian President Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February. 

"Today's inflation report confirms what Americans already know — Putin's price hike is hitting America hard," Biden said earlier this month, reacting to an announcement from the Labor Department that inflation hit a new four-decade high in May. 

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"Gas prices at the pump, energy and food prices account for half of the monthly price increases since May," he said. 

Fox News’ Gabriel Hays and Lindsay Kornick contributed to this report.

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