Fossil fuel-backed dark money group dishonestly blames Casey for higher consumer prices - TAI News
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(Photo by Alexander Grey on Unsplash.)

The tax-exempt political group One Nation is running ads that falsely suggest Pennsylvania Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Casey and President Joe Biden are to blame for high consumer prices. Records indicate that the dark money committee has received significant funding from the fossil fuel industry.

Casey faces a competitive reelection race this November against Republican former hedge fund executive Dave McCormick. One Nation, which is linked to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and Republican strategist Karl Rove, announced in May that it plans to spend $70 million to support Republican Senate candidates in swing states. 

In early July, the group released a 30-second ad supporting a balanced budget act and claiming that Casey ignored warnings about inflation and voted for Biden’s economic legislation, which, it claims, fueled higher consumer prices.

“With Casey’s reckless spending, groceries are up 25%, rent’s up 21%, and electricity is up 29%,” the ad says. “Sen. Casey helped create this mess.”

One Nation is running similar attacks on Democratic senators in Ohio, Nevada and Montana.

Consumer prices have risen in recent years, under former President Donald Trump and President Joe Biden. Economic experts attribute this largely to the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted international supply chains, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

“We only have to look at the still high inflation rates in most other advanced economies to see that most of this inflation period was really about global trends … rather than about the specific policy actions of any given government (though they did of course play some role),” economist Stephen Brown told CNBC on July 3. 

While the group does not disclose its donors, a 2021 report by the nonpartisan government reform group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington noted that One Nation received $1 million from the gas and electric utility corporation Southern Company in 2020, $2 million from oil refiner Andeavor between 2016 and 2017, $1 million from oil and gas company ConocoPhillips in 2019, and $1 million from the fossil fuel industry trade group the American Petroleum Institute in 2019. 

U.S. gasoline prices spiked in 2022, reaching an average of $4.929 per gallon that June. Fossil fuel companies saw record profits, prompting congressional Democrats to accuse them of price gouging and to propose a crackdown

“Between Putin’s war driving up gas prices and big oil companies profiteering off the rise, hardworking Americans are getting squeezed at the gas pump,” Casey said of one bill in March 2022. “This legislation would ensure oil companies aren’t profiting off the backs of hardworking Americans by requiring corporations to return half of their excess profits to American families.”

An anti-price gouging bill passed in the House of Representatives May 2022 but died in the Senate.

According to a May 2024 analysis by the progressive Economic Policy Institute, average wage growth was higher than inflation every month for the previous 12 consecutive months. 

Gasoline prices have dropped significantly nationwide since 2022: A gallon cost an average of $3.455 in June, nearly $1.50 cheaper than it did two years before.

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The Pennsylvania Independent is a project of American Independent Media, a 501(c)(4) organization whose mission is to use journalism to educate the public, giving them the information they need about local and federal issues.