Gas prices continue to be a thorn in the side of the Biden Administration, and there’s no indication that prices at the pump are letting up. While the White House continues to shift the blame, there is no relief in sight.
By Tyler O’Neil; May 17, 2022
Average gas prices in the U.S. reached a new record high Tuesday, according to AAA’s gas price calculator.
The national average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline hit $4.523 early Tuesday morning. This topped Monday’s record of $4.483, which in turn had beat Sunday’s record of $4.470.
The price comes as the European Union edges toward oil sanctions on Russia amid the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. It also comes amid record-high inflation, with the consumer price index reaching 8.3% in April, hovering near March’s 40-year high.
The White House has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for the record-high gas prices in the U.S., even coining the surge as the “#PutinPriceHike” and vowing that President Biden will do everything he can to shield Americans from “pain at the pump.”
Biden, last month, announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the sale of E15 gasoline – gasoline that uses a 15% ethanol blend – across the country this summer. Biden has also moved to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next 6 months. The president is also calling on Congress to make companies pay fees on idled oil wells and non-producing acres of federal lands, aiming to incentivize new production.
Yet critics have claimed that Biden’s actions on energy policy have created a “supply problem” in the market.
Within his first week in office, Biden signed an executive order temporarily suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands. The administration resumed the new leasing last month following court challenges against the ban. The administration is appealing a ruling in which Judge James Cain, a Trump appointee, struck down the ban.
The Department of the Interior canceled an oil and gas lease sale for over 1 million acres in Alaska’s Cook Inlet last week, amid record gas prices. The DOI cited “lack of industry interest,” but Steve Milloy, a former Trump-Pence EPA transition member and founder of JunkScience.com, blamed the president.
“I blame Biden for all lack of production. He has scared away investment,” Milloy told FOX Business last week. He suggested that the president will find “any excuse to not drill. They even tried to use the social cost of carbon decision to stop leasing.”
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