Watchdog Investigates Inflation-Related Decisions Amidst War and Rising Energy Prices  

Oil at $100/barrel, war in Eastern Europe, and supply chain crisis all increase need for answers on drivers of inflation

February 25, 2022

(Washington, DC) – The American people recognize inflation levels not seen in 40 years as the top issue facing the country, though events in Europe may soon eclipse this. In its effort to explore the issues most affecting Americans’ daily lives, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced a host of new information requests it is sending to federal agencies whose policies could be contributing to this harmful development.

Experts have been exploring the potential contributors to inflation for many months with no consensus on the primary reason. Among the leading contenders is the COVID-19 pandemic and the nearly $5 trillion in federal spending from “COVID relief bills” enacted in 2020 and 2021. Another factor is the supply chain crisis – an issue FGI will also be digging into in the weeks ahead. Together these factors seem to have caused higher demand and lower supply – a perfect recipe for higher prices.

As oil prices exceed $100 per barrel for the first time in nearly a decade, the U.S. government’s move away from energy independence – a US policy goal dating back at least 50 years – appears to be adding fuel to the fire. For instance, actions to pause new oil and gas leases, restrict pipeline development, and force climate change analysis into all federal government actions have been identified as potentially exacerbating the spike in energy prices, and subsequently most food and consumer product costs. FGI will be exploring the disparate and sometimes contradictory reactions by federal agencies. The areas of inquiry will include the following:

  • Actions to slow gas price hikes using emergency powers;
  • Calls for investigating the meat and energy industries;
  • Efforts to hinder domestic fossil fuel production, halt pipeline approvals, and shut down American mines; and
  • Considerations behind the decision to re-nominate a Federal Reserve Chairman who has presided over 40-year highs in inflation.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“For years Washington’s dysfunction has enraged the American public. The Functional Government Initiative exists to explore what is driving that dysfunction and shine a light on the key decisions causing it. Right now, inflation is front and center in this discussion.  The public almost certainly understands that the pandemic has played a part in driving inflation but if it turns out government policies are supercharging that spike in their cost of living, then they deserve to know. A strong economy and a healthy America are goals all Americans share. As we get records back on these key decisions impacting inflation, we will soon find out whether actions of the federal government are aiding or impeding those goals.”