The White House is pulling various stops in an attempt to get gas prices under control at the start of what is expected to be a busy holiday travel season.
The administration utilizes the strategic oil reserve, and President BidenJoe BidenUS lawmakers arrive in Taiwan to meet with local officials. Biden meets with Coast Guard on Thanksgiving Five reasons Biden, GOP should be grateful this season MORE has called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate whether the oil companies are responsible for increased prices.
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 is hoping to rally support for ambitious climate targets in its $ 2 trillion spending plan.
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 rising around the country.
The busy travel season that is coming has focused especially on gas prices amid broader concerns about inflation, something the White House has tried to show it has under control.
“It is clear that the president is not controlling the price of gasoline – no president does that, ”energy minister Jennifer GranholmJennifer Granholm White House seems to curb gas prices ahead of a busy travel season Buttigieg has high name recognition, favorable rating in Biden Cabinet: survey Energy manager describes oil reserve release as ‘bridge’ before prices fall MORE told reporters Tuesday. “But what we’re seeing right now is this global mismatch between supply and demand. Oil production is lagging behind as the rest of the economy roars back to life after the shutdown.”
“So we, in this administration, leave no stone unturned when we examine the market to find out what lies behind the high prices,” she said.
The White House has shown more urgency in recent weeks in publicly sending messages about how it is trying to provide emergency aid to Americans struggling with inflation, especially after the Labor Department released statistics showing that consumer prices grew much faster than expected in October, and that annual inflation had hit a 30-year high. That jump was partly a result of rising energy costs and increased costs of the petrol pump.
Biden wrote to the Federal Trade Commission last week asking the agency to investigate whether the oil companies unfairly raised prices at the pump.
And on Tuesday, the administration announced it would release 50 million barrels of oil from the nation’s strategic oil reserve in coordination with several other countries in an effort to match supply and demand.
Experts have questioned whether both measures will do much to bring prices down meaningfully immediately, and warned that other factors, such as the course of the pandemic, are more likely to affect the course in the coming months.
This 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 angry at Biden, especially over his handling of the economy, where his approval ratings dropped to the low 40s.
“This is being done to use every tool the president has at his disposal to lower the price of gas for the American people,” the White House press secretary said. Jen PsakiJen PsakiRussian military build puts Washington on edge White House appears to be curbing gas prices ahead of busy travel season Biden: Arbery case ‘not enough’ MORE said on Tuesday when asked if the use of the strategic reserve was made for political purposes.
Republicans have been attacking inflation over the past few weeks, and the Biden administration’s decision to release oil from the strategic reserve provided more fodder for attacks on its energy policy.
Former President TrumpDonald Trump Five reasons why Biden, GOP should be grateful this season. and GOP lawmakers argued that the Biden administration’s desire to shift away from fossil fuels and towards a clean energy industry has led to problems at the pump.
“Today’s announcement is nothing more than a gesture. If the president and his administration wanted to make a real, long-term impact, they would work to maximize domestic production and accelerate energy infrastructure like pipelines – not shut down federal states to drill and add a federal tax on methane, “Sen. Shelley Moore CapitoShelley Wellon’s Moore CapitoWhite House seems to be curbing gas prices ahead of a busy travel season. Success from two parties in the Senate signals room for more compromise The Biden administration takes the step towards reversing Trump’s water rules MORE (RW.Va.), ranking member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, said in a statement.
Dens. John BarrassoJohn Anthony Barrasso White House seems to be curbing gas prices ahead of busy travel season. The Biden administration will release 50 million barrels of oil from strategic reserve Energy Information Manager blames the market for high fuel prices MORE (Wyo.), The top Republican on the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, accused Democrats of “waging a war against American energy.”
Even Sen. Joe ManchinJoe Manchin Five reasons Biden, GOP should be grateful this season The White House seems to be curbing gas prices ahead of busy travel season. Bernie Sanders’ former spokeswoman is concerned about the effectiveness of SALT deductions MORE (DW.Va.), which has opposed some climate initiatives in the Bidens Build Back Better Agenda, called the release of oil from reserves an “important policy patch for rising gas prices”, while criticizing the administration’s energy policy as “short-term” . ”
In his remarks Tuesday, Biden tried to reassure the public that the U.S. economy was booming and that a rise in prices would not be a long-term concern.
“I also want to briefly address one myth about too high 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 investing in electric vehicles, solar panels and other sectors would spur job creation and innovation.
“Let’s beat climate change with more comprehensive innovation and opportunities,” he added. “We can make our economy and consumers less vulnerable to that kind of price increase when we do.”