White House Defends High Gas Prices As Americans Prepare To Travel For Memorial Day

Written by on May 28, 2021

The White Home on Friday tried to assuage People’ issues about rising gasoline costs forward of Memorial Day weekend, saying gasoline costs have “stabilized” and are “nicely in keeping with what they’ve been in current many years.”

The typical value nationally for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is now $3.04, in keeping with the American Vehicle Affiliation ― the best it’s been in seven years.

A wide range of components are driving the upper worth, together with rising demand as extra People take to the highway as pandemic restrictions carry and a scarcity of tank truck drivers to ship gasoline.

The Nationwide Tank Truck Carriers, the business’s commerce group, informed CNN in April that 20% to 25% of tank vans have been parked due to an absence of drivers.

Trade consultants have warned that this driver scarcity and the continued reopening of the U.S. economic system, amongst different components, might result in potential gasoline shortages ― and thus greater costs ― this summer season.

“This summer season goes to be a troublesome summer season on the pump for customers,” business analyst John Kilduff lately informed CNBC.

On Friday, White Home press secretary Jen Psaki sought to guarantee People that they’re, the truth is, “paying much less in actual phrases for gasoline than they’ve on common during the last 15 years ― they usually’re paying about the identical as they did in Might 2018 and Might 2019.”

Fuel costs soared forward of Memorial Day in each of these years. In 2018, the typical value for a gallon of gasoline was $2.97, in keeping with AAA. The next yr, the typical was round $2.80, following the most important U.S. gasoline worth surge since 2011.

Donald Trump, who served as president throughout these years, issued an announcement this week lamenting immediately’s excessive gasoline costs.

“I’m sorry to say the gasoline costs that you can be confronted with are far greater than they have been only a brief variety of months in the past the place we had gasoline beneath $2 a gallon,” he mentioned. “Keep in mind as you’re watching the meter tick, and your {dollars} pile up, how nice of a job Donald Trump did as President.”

“Quickly Russia and the Center East might be making a fortune on oil, and you can be saying how good it was to have me as your President,” Trump continued. “Wasn’t it nice to be power unbiased, however we’re power unbiased no extra. Disgrace, disgrace, disgrace. ”

Republican lawmakers have blamed the Biden administration for the current spike in gasoline costs. As The Washington Put up famous, economists have largely pinpointed the reopening of the U.S. and different international economies as a main trigger.

Psaki acknowledged that gasoline costs have elevated from final yr, when demand plummeted amid the pandemic, however mentioned present costs are “nonetheless nicely in keeping with what they’ve been in current many years.”

Psaki added that gasoline costs had “stabilized” following the reopening of the Colonial Pipeline, which was shuttered earlier this month after a debilitating cyberattack.

Colonial Pipeline is without doubt one of the largest pipeline operators within the nation, and its closure triggered gasoline shortages throughout the Southeast.

The Colonial Pipeline is “absolutely flowing, and the provision state of affairs returns to regular,” Psaki mentioned, including: “That is due partially to the administration’s aggressive, whole-of-government response to the unprecedented shutdown of that pipeline.”

Psaki went on to say that President Joe Biden is conscious of how a lot of a “ache level” gasoline costs will be for People.

“That’s why President Biden is opposed any proposals to lift the gasoline tax. And it’s why we are going to proceed to watch costs, and are glad that People can get on the highway once more,” she mentioned.

Hundreds of thousands of People are anticipated to journey by highway and by air over the approaching vacation weekend.

AAA has estimated that greater than 37 million folks will journey 50 miles or extra ― a 60% enhance from final Memorial Day weekend. AAA mentioned nearly all of these vacationers ― some 34 million folks ― will drive.


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