December 3, 2021
White House quiet on plan to tackle rising gas prices as inflation surges

White House quiet on plan to tackle rising gas prices as inflation surges

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday declined to specify how the Biden administration plans to tackle hovering gas prices, regardless of assurances from the president that addressing the matter is a “top priority.”

Requested throughout the day by day press briefing whether or not President Biden would take a slate of various actions to deal with rising gas prices – together with releasing barrels from the nation’s emergency oil stockpile or reinstating a ban on U.S. oil exports – Psaki demurred. 

“We’re not just closely and directly monitoring the situation, which of course we’ve been doing,” she mentioned. “We’re looking at every tool in our arsenal. You mentioned some of them. While I don’t have anything to preview today, the president is quite focused on this, as is the economic team.”

President Biden on Wednesday mentioned he instructed his high financial aides to focus on lowering power prices, which he blamed for accelerating inflation after the federal government reported that client prices jumped 6.2% in October from the earlier 12 months. It marked the steepest enhance since December 1990.

“Inflation hurts Americans pocketbooks, and reversing this trend is a top priority for me,” Biden mentioned in a press release. 

Power prices performed a big function within the inflation surge, skyrocketing 4.8% from September to October, with value will increase widespread throughout the sector. The fee for gasoline (6.1%), heating oil (12.3%) and pure gas (6.2%) all jumped final month from September, largely due to severely lopsided provide and demand: People are touring extra, however the provide facet has not stored up with the demand.

Prior to now 12 months, power prices have jumped a surprising 30%, with gasoline hovering by practically 50%. A gallon of gas, on common, was $3.42 nationwide on Tuesday, in accordance to AAA – up from $2.11 a 12 months in the past.  

Prices for pure gas and heating oil are additionally on the rise; the Power Data Administration has predicted that People may spend up to 30% extra on pure gas and 43% extra on heating oil this winter.

Rising inflation is consuming away at robust beneficial properties and wages and salaries that American staff have seen in current months – dangerous information for each Biden administration officers as nicely as Federal Reserve policymakers, a lot of whom have been downplaying the current spike in client prices as “transitory” and certain to abate as pandemic-induced disruptions within the provide chain pale. 

Lawmakers from each side of the political aisle have urged Biden to curb rising power prices, and Psaki acknowledged on Friday that the president is in communication with oil-producing nations which can be a part of OPEC and has requested them to think about rising the availability. Oil prices have hit greater than $80 a barrel, pushing the price of gasoline increased for customers.

“I would note that we have taken a range of action,” she mentioned. “We’ve communicated with the FTC to crack down on illegal pricing. We have communicated with countries and entities abroad like OPEC on increasing supply. We’re looking at a range of options we have at our disposal. But I don’t have anything here to preview for you.”

Psaki’s feedback come just some days after Power Secretary Jennifer Granholm recommended that Biden may take motion as quickly as this week on measures to deal with the rising value of gasoline – one thing that appears more and more unlikely to occur.

“Hopefully there will be an announcement or so this week,” Granholm mentioned on Monday. She didn’t present extra particulars. 

Source link