Gas prices have risen to a high not seen since 2014, yet the White House has no plans to alleviate consumer costs.
Although gas prices are at least one dollar higher than they were this time last year, a White House deputy press secretary stated that the Biden Administration has no plans to address the issue. Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters last week that the president and his aides are “monitoring” the situation but said no plans are in place to help American consumers.
Jean-Pierre went on to say that the Administration reached out to the Federal Trade Commission to investigate possible “anti-corruption policies” that could be affecting the price of gas for American consumers. However, other than relating that “the FTC responded,” little else has been done. The national average of one gallon of gas is now $3.24, with some places across the United States seeing $5 per gallon costs at the pump.
With inflation costs raising monthly expenses for the average American family to an extra $175 per month (this number includes fuel prices as well as grocery and utility prices), Americans are finding it difficult to make ends meet. Last week, the White House touted the September jobs report, which pointed to the addition of 194,000 jobs and higher wages. However, those higher wages aren’t making it into the disposable income of families. Instead, families are currently spending more on everything from gas to groceries, and many Americans are struggling to pay for essentials that are rising in cost.
Jean-Pierre said during a press conference, “We will continue to look for ways to relieve the burden of energy costs on the American families, but we have no announcement at this time.”
During the first week of October, a barrel of oil reached about $80. This is a steep increase from the barrels that were just under $20 in April 2020. The speculation on crude oil prices predict that $80 per barrel price could reach $100 per barrel by the end of 2021. Hints of a production lag and higher demand for petroleum products have contributed to this increase.
There is no discussion of whether the closing of the Keystone XL pipeline or other factors are impacting the price of oil. We do know that Saudi Arabia cut its production of oil by 1 million barrels in February and March 2021, which drove the price of one barrel to $53. This is contributing to the higher gas prices, but it can’t be the only reason.
Unfortunately, Americans are paying more at the pump, more for fuel to heat homes, and more for groceries as the price of fuel for shipping inadvertently increases costs at the supermarket. Although Biden’s camp says there are no plans to do anything about these rising costs in the immediate future, this could prove detrimental for Democrats in the upcoming 2022 mid-term elections.
Many Americans are seeing rising prices on everything as a political liability for Joe Biden and the Democratic Party. Recently polls – even the trusted Quinnipiac polls show that Biden’s handling of the economy is a huge problem for the President. When people in the Biden Administration argue that “new sources of energy” should be explored and utilized, the American people overall seem to do a collective eye roll.
One of the highly debated spending bills would allocate $3.5 trillion to green energy investments. However, American sentiment isn’t as supportive as the Biden Administration would like. If the Quinnipiac poll is any indicator – as it involved responders who identified themselves as Independent voters – then Americans do not support these initiatives while they are scrambling to pay bills and buy necessities.
While Americans understand that the electric car – and truck – is a part of the future, they also tend to look at the bottom line, their personal pocketbook. The rising fuel prices are affecting Americans in a number of negative ways, with no relief in sight.