President Joe Biden has taken heavy fire for the rapidly rising inflation that has skyrocketed prices around the nation. Now, however, he seems to be trying to find a scapegoat: the energy companies, themselves.
Biden sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission head Lina Kahn asking her to look into what he called “potentially illegal” activity that could be driving gas prices up. (Story continues below.)
“Usually, prices at the pump correspond to movements in the price of unfinished gasoline,“ Biden said. “But in the last month the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent. I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct,” the president wrote. He asked Khan to “bring all of the commission‘s tools to bear if you uncover any wrongdoing.”
Biden was roundly criticized for putting the blame on energy companies since he has shut down pipelines and quickly reduced the energy independence the country had under the former administration.
The American Petroleum Institute responded to Biden’s claims, pointing to his “ill-advised government decisions.”
“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,” the group said.
“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. Rather than launching investigations on markets that are regulated and closely monitored on a daily basis or pleading with OPEC to increase supply, we should be encouraging the safe and responsible development of American-made oil and natural gas.”
According to the American Automobile Association, the national average gas price is about $3.41, about $1.29 higher than this time last year.
In a recent hearing, Republicans blasted Biden, making clear they blame him for the inflation, high prices, supply chain issues and other economic woes.
“Here in the U.S., inflation is at a 30-year high and energy prices are the highest in 7 years,” said Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.V.
“Meanwhile, Europe and countries like China, are experiencing blackouts and energy rationing. They simply don’t have enough capacity to meet the demand. Rather than rush to 100% renewable energy, wouldn’t it make more sense for the U.S. to invest in carbon capture and use fossil fuels as a bridge for the next several decades until we can build out renewables?”