Michigan Senator Criticized for Touting Electric Car, Dismissing Surging Gas Prices

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Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) is facing backlash this week after she bragged to a Senate panel that gasoline prices don’t affect her because she drives an electric vehicle.

“I just have to say, on the issue of gas prices, after waiting for a long time to have enough chips in this country to get my electric vehicle, I drove it from Michigan to [Washington, D.C.] this last weekend and went by every single gas station and it didn’t matter how high it was,” Stabenow said at a Senate Finance Committee hearing on June 7.

As of June 8, the national average price of regular gasoline inched closer to $5 per gallon and now stands at $4.95, according to data from AAA. In Michigan, gasoline averages $5.21 per gallon, which is about 51 cents higher than the previous week and more than $2 higher than a year ago.

Rep. Mike Kelly (R-Pa.), in response, said that the average cost for a new electric vehicle is $60,000. The Kelley Blue Book puts the new electric vehicle price at about $56,000 on average.

“Democrats don’t understand the problems of everyday Americans,” Kelly said on Twitter in response to the video. Conservative commentators also accused Stabenow of being out of touch with working-class people on social media.

Stabenow drives a Chevrolet Bolt EUV, which has a starting price of about $28,000 for its 2023 model, Michigan news website MLive reported.

The Democratic senator will “never apologize” for driving the electric vehicle, which is manufactured in Michigan, a spokesperson for Stabenow told that website. Conservatives should apologize to auto workers “for disrespecting the products they work hard to make,” the spokesperson, Robyn Bryan, added in a statement.

“Instead of helping the oil companies line their pockets with Michigan drivers’ hard-earned money, these critics should join the senator’s fight to end price gouging at the pump,” Bryan said.

In recent months, the senator has often promoted electric vehicle usage and led congressional efforts to offer consumer tax credits for electric vehicles.

“I’m looking forward to the opportunity for us to move to vehicles that aren’t going to be dependent on the whims of the oil companies and the international markets,” Stabenow said on June 7.

A recent report in May suggested that the cost of electric vehicle batteries may increase as much as 15 percent amid supply chain disruptions. China is the world’s largest battery manufacturer in the world, and reports have shown that more than half of the world’s lithium, cobalt, and graphite processing and refining capacity is located in the Communist Party-controlled country.

Several White House officials have similarly drawn criticism for promoting electric vehicles amid record-high gas prices. In March, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg urged Americans to transition to such vehicles alongside Vice President Kamala Harris in a news conference.

Stabenow’s office didn’t respond by press time to a request by The Epoch Times for comment.

Jack Phillips

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Jack Phillips is a breaking news reporter at The Epoch Times based in New York.



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