White House seeks to curb gas prices ahead of peak travel season

The White House is making several stops in an effort to keep gas prices in check at the start of what is expected to be a peak vacation travel season.

The administration is taking advantage of the strategic oil reserve and President BidenJoe Biden Overnight Health Care: Federals and Military Over 90 Percent Vaccination Rates Cities Prepare Holiday Safety Plans for Large Crowds On The Money: Biden’s Big Plans for the Fed MORE has asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether oil companies are responsible for the price hike.

But the focus on gas prices has fueled Republican attacks on Biden’s handling of the economy, and his energy policies in particular, at a time when the White House hopes to rally support for ambitious climate targets in its US spending plan. approximately 2 trillion dollars.

AAA predicted this month that 53.4 million people will travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, a 13 percent increase from 2020 when many Americans chose not to travel with coronavirus cases and deaths surging across the country.

The busy travel season ahead has highlighted gasoline prices, particularly amid broader concerns about inflation, something the White House has tried to show it has under control.

“Obviously, the president does not control the price of gasoline, no president does,” said the Secretary of Energy. Jennifer granholmJennifer Granholm Buttigieg Has High Name Recognition and Favorability Rating in Biden’s Cabinet: Energy Chief’s Survey Describes the Release of Oil Reserves as a ‘Bridge’ Before Prices Fall Biden will ease the prices? Experts say unlikely MORE he told reporters on Tuesday. “But what we are seeing right now is this global mismatch between supply and demand. Oil production is lagging behind as the rest of the economy comes back to life after the shutdown. “

“So we in this administration leave no stone unturned as we examine the market to find out what’s behind the high prices,” he said.

The White House has shown more urgency in recent weeks by publicly communicating how it is trying to provide relief to Americans struggling with inflation, particularly after the Labor Department released statistics showing consumer prices rose much faster. than expected in October and that annual inflation had reached a 30-year high. That increase was due in part to higher energy costs and higher costs at the gas station.

Biden wrote last week to the Federal Trade Commission asking the agency to investigate whether oil companies were unfairly raising prices at the pump.

And on Tuesday, the administration announced that it would release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve in coordination with several other countries in an effort to match supply with demand.

Experts have questioned whether any of the measures will do much to reduce prices significantly immediately, warning that other factors, such as the course of the pandemic, are more likely to affect the trajectory in the coming months.

That has led some conservatives to question whether the White House’s actions on gas prices were more of a political maneuver, as poll after poll has shown voters are angry at Biden, particularly for his handling of the economy. , with his approval ratings dropping to 40.

“This is done in order to use all the tools at the president’s disposal to lower the price of gasoline for the American people,” said the White House press secretary. Jen psakiJen PsakiBiden: Guilty Verdicts In Arbery Case ‘Not Enough’ Buttigieg Has High Name Recognition, Favorability Rating In Biden Cabinet – Overnight Energy & Environment Survey – Biden To Release 50 Million Barrels From Reserve Of oil MORE he said on Tuesday when asked if the use of the strategic reserve was being done for political purposes.

Republicans have been offended by inflation in recent weeks, and the Biden administration’s decision to release oil from the strategic reserve provided more food for attacks on its energy policies.

Former president Donald trumpTrump Organization executive does not expect to face charges, lawyer says Marjorie Taylor Greene introduces bill to award Congressional Gold Medal to Rittenhouse Drones are a strategic responsibility for the US MORE and Republican lawmakers argued that the Biden administration’s desire to move away from fossil fuels and switch to clean energy industries has caused problems at the pump.

“Today’s announcement is nothing more than a gesture. If the president and his administration wanted to have a real long-term impact, they would work to maximize national production and accelerate energy infrastructure such as pipelines, not close federal lands to drilling and add a federal tax on methane, ”said the Senator . Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellons Moore Capito Party success in the Senate indicates there is room for greater commitment The Biden administration takes a step to reverse the rollback of Trump Meghan’s water regulations: Paid leave is not about politics, ‘ just a humanitarian problem ‘MORE (RW.Va.), a senior member of the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works, said in a statement.

Its. John barrassoJohn Anthony Barrasso Biden administration to release 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserve Chief of energy information blames the market for high fuel prices Let’s plan human ingenuity in our fight against climate change MORE (R-Wyo.), The top Republican on the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, accused Democrats of “waging a war on American energy.

Even Sen. Joe manchinJoe Manchin, former Bernie Sanders spokesman, concerned about the effectiveness of SALT deductions The GOP post-1/6 playbook is clear, and dangerous Giving thanks and thinking about the hungry MORE (DW.Va.), which has opposed some climate initiatives on Biden’s Build Back Better agenda, called the release of oil from reserves a “major policy band-aid for rising gas prices,” while he criticized the administration’s energy policy as “shortsighted.” “

Biden, in remarks Tuesday, tried to assure the public that the US economy was on the rise and that a rise in prices would not be a long-term concern.

“I also want to briefly address a myth about inflated gas prices: they are not due to environmental measures. My effort to combat climate change is not to raise the price of gas or increase its availability, ”Biden said in prepared remarks, arguing that investments in electric vehicles, solar panels and other sectors would stimulate job creation and innovation.

“We are going to beat climate change with broader innovation and opportunities,” he added. “We can make our economy and consumers less vulnerable to these kinds of price spikes when we do that.”


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