C’mon Man! Biden Begs Oil Companies to Lower Gasoline Prices After Wholesale Price Dips
19:02 GMT 16.03.2022 (Updated: 19:09 GMT 16.03.2022)
© AP Photo / Paul SancyaVehicle lights pass a price board at a BP gas station in Detroit, Monday, March 7, 2022.
© AP Photo / Paul Sancya
The US average gasoline price hit a new record high of $4.43 per gallon on Saturday before dropping off slightly. Meanwhile, the Biden administration dismissed suggestions that its policies, including the recent move to ban Russian energy imports, were responsible for the sky-high prices, instead blaming Vladimir Putin and the oil companies.
President Joe Biden asked oil companies to ease off on the price gouging Wednesday, tweeting a chart showing an apparent discrepancy between gasoline prices and the wholesale price of WTI crude.
“Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too. Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon. Now it’s $4.31. Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans,” a tweet by the president’s official Twitter account said.
Oil prices are decreasing, gas prices should too.— President Biden (@POTUS) March 16, 2022
Last time oil was $96 a barrel, gas was $3.62 a gallon. Now it’s $4.31.
Oil and gas companies shouldn’t pad their profits at the expense of hardworking Americans. pic.twitter.com/uLNGleWBly
The average US gas price climbed by 22 percent in two weeks to a record $4.43 over the weekend, exceeding the previous all-time high of $4.11 hit in mid-2008 by over 30 cents.
President Biden has blamed Putin for the price hike, citing global economic instability related to the Russian military operation in Ukraine. Biden also brushed off claims that his administration’s policies toward oil producers, and Washington’s move to ban Russian energy imports, contributed to the skyrocketing price at the pump, saying he was “sick” of getting blamed for surging prices and inflation, and that it was “simply not true that my administration or policies” were holding back domestic energy production.
Putin indirectly addressed the US administration’s efforts to blame him for America's woes on Wednesday.
“An effort is being made to convince you that all your difficulties are the result of some kind of hostile actions by Russia, that you have to pay for the fight against the mythical Russian threat through your wallet. All of this is a lie,” Putin said in a meeting with Russian officials. “The truth is that the current problems that millions of people in the West face are the result of many actions by the ruling elites of their states, their mistakes, myopia and ambitions,” Putin added, stressing that these elites were “obsessed with their own selfish interests and surplus profits,” rather than the lives of ordinary citizens.
Biden’s tweet received a mixed reaction from followers. “Why TF you tellin the people? You’re the president dog do something about it. What you want us to do go yell at Sunoco?” one user quipped.
“There’s always a multi-week lag between global crude oil and domestic pump price changes, Mr. President. If these recently lowered crude prices stick, pump prices should follow. Recommend asking [the Energy Information Agency] to explain these realities to you and your staff. Gouging is not an issue, sir,” Rapidan Energy Group president Bob McNally tweeted.
“As is often the case, the real story here is greed,” another user wrote.
“A lot depends on when you begin a graph,” another user noted, pointing out that crude prices had been rising steadily since January, while gasoline prices only began a major uptick a month later.
A lot depends on when you begin a graph. pic.twitter.com/9QVKLXb2P4— Doug Henwood (@DougHenwood) March 16, 2022