(STATEN ISLAND, NY) – Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (NY-11) joined David Shehadeh, owner of Olive Tree Marketplace on Staten Island, and concerned consumers to show how skyrocketing inflation and rising energy costs are impacting New York City food markets and consumers, explain how the backward policies of the Biden Administration got us here and lay out Republican solutions to restore our energy independence and provide relief for American families.
“As a result of the lack of domestic energy production we’re seeing from the Biden Administration, we’re seeing the impact of inflation soar on goods and food being transported,” Congresswoman Malliotakis said.
“Energy impacts every aspect of our life and we take it for granted. Manufacturers who are producing these goods require energy. The transportation of the goods requires energy and our stores do as well.
“When we see this type of rise in energy cost due to policies put in place by the Biden Administration, the cost is ultimately passed down to the consumer.
“Stores don’t want to raise prices on their consumers, and many are eating the rising costs themselves to hold the line. We’re going to end up losing mom-and-pop shops if this continues – there’s only so much cost they can eat before passing it on to the consumer.”
Food costs have jumped 13% compared to the previous year, with goods such as flour, cookies, turkey, and canned fruits and vegetables all hitting record highs. In New York, the inflation rate is 11.7%, costing families an additional $713 per month and $8,560 annually.
Food prices in New York City have also increased 9.1% from August 2021 to August 2022, with the number of children visiting food pantries 55% higher than before the pandemic.
“The rates for deliveries have increased and now there’s now a surcharge for gas which is making my profit margin very low to the point where it’s hard to do business,” said David Shehadeh, Owner of Olive Tree Marketplace.
“It’s hard to get inventory in the store and to keep the prices low. Right now, a head of lettuce is $5.00 and eggs are through the roof. We’re getting charged multiple fees just to get products through the door and on our shelves. It’s like double jeopardy and it’s very difficult to operate a business like this.”
“The world revolves around petroleum, and Biden came in on day one and said ‘I’m going to shut down the energy industry,’ and in 19 months he has,” said Kathy Romanelli, President of the Mariners Harbor Civic Association.
“Now we’re seeing how it’s affecting the families in our community that go out to shop. When they see $7.99 for 18 eggs or milk at $5.00 per gallon, it’s horrendous. All of this can be stopped by our President who just refuses to address it. People have to keep going to food pantries to support their families and it’s really horrendous.”
“This petroleum-based economy works from the bottom up,” said Mark Romanelli, a local gardener and concerned consumer.
“The fertilizer that you buy at Lowe’s or Home Depot to plant your tomatoes is way up in price. It’s because everything from the rubber in the soles of your shoes to the zipper on your sweatshirt is petroleum-based. The petroleum industry is one of the best things god gave America and Biden has made it the enemy of the people.”
In the first days of his presidency, the Biden Administration halted new leases, stopped pipeline construction, and discouraged the production of American energy resources.
In his first 19 months of office, Biden’s Administration had only leased out 126,228 acres for drilling, while both Presidents Trump and Obama had approved ten times as many leases by the same point. No other president since Nixon has leased out fewer than 4.4 million acres at this stage in their terms.
House Republicans have introduced several pieces of legislation as part of their Commitment to America to address this issue, ramp up energy production, and lower food costs for American families including the Transparency and Productions of American Energy Act and the Reducing Farm Input Costs and Barriers to Domestic Production Act to eliminate bureaucratic hurdles and regulatory barriers to domestic agriculture production, empower the energy sector to innovate and expand access to federal lands and waters for responsible energy development.
Malliotakis added: “Instead of ramping up domestic production, we’re seeing the Biden Administration raid our strategic petroleum reserves to the point where we’re at a four-decade low.
“The reserves are meant for emergencies and natural disasters, not to manufacture low prices. This all could be avoided by ramping up all forms of domestic energy production, lifting bans on permitting, making sure we invest in pipeline infrastructure and incentivizing energy companies to expand their operations.”
Watch Malliotakis’ press conference HERE.
Banner Image: Rep. Malliotakis and residents. Image Credit – Rep. Malliotakis