The subject of skyrocketing gas prices has become not just the talk around the water cooler but also around the budgeting pads as Americans struggle with what is almost a 100% increase in gas prices since this administration took office in January of this year.
So, as often happens with a nationwide outcry, the White House has been forced to address the issue. However, instead of looking inward at what this administration has done to abolish every economically positive move that the Trump administration made to keep more money in voters pockets, the Biden administration is grasping at straws, saying that there must be some sort of illegal conduct amongst others, driving up the price to drive.
According to a report by MSN, the president called on the Federal Trade Commission to check into the rising fuel costs at pumps and of products at grocery stores. In other words, again, instead of dealing with his own damaging conduct in shutting down pipelines and drilling in the United States, putting a stranglehold on what it takes for Americans to produce their own energy and keep so many workers employed in the energy sector, he wants to know who to point the finger at.
Biden sent a letter on Wednesday, addressed to Lina Khan, chair of the FTC, calling her attention to “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”
“The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining,” Mr. Biden wrote. “The Federal Trade Commission has the authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.”
According to the publication, gas is up around 50 percent from the same time last year, and inflation is at its highest annual increase in three decades, ringing in at 6.2 percent. The average price of gasoline is $3.41, according to AAA, where it was $2.12 a year ago. And to make matters worse, there is also expected to be an uptick in those looking to travel over the upcoming holidays.
AAA predicted that more than 53 million people would travel for the Thanksgiving holiday, which is an increase of almost 15 percent from last year. Of those travelers, 48.3 million people are expected to go through the forest and over the hills by car. And, it’s expected that just as many (if not more) will travel for Christmas.
But have no fear, a spokesperson for the FTC said that the commission is “concerned about the issue” and is “looking into it.”
Now, I’m no expert at being brushed off, but that looks a whole lot like a brush-off to me. And my opinion is not mine alone. The American Petroleum Institute, who are lobbyists for oil and gas companies, have taken exception to the president’s request, agreeing that something needs to be done about gas prices, but it ought to be taking place a lot closer to Pennsylvania Avenue.
“This is a distraction from the fundamental market shift that is taking place and the ill-advised government decisions that are exacerbating this challenging situation. Demand has returned as the economy comes back and is outpacing supply. Further impacting the imbalance is the continued decision from the administration to restrict access to America’s energy supply and cancel important infrastructure projects,” said Frank Macchiarola, senior vice president for Policy, Economics, and Regulatory Affairs, in a statement. Rather than launching investigations on markets that are regulated or pleading with OPEC to increase supply, he said, “we should be encouraging the safe and responsible development of American-made oil and natural gas.”
In case anyone is wondering, the above carefully crafted statement from those concerned with American-made energy solutions is smart-people speak for, “you got a problem? Look in the mirror, pal.” And I think we can all be thankful someone is saying that.