Take advantage of the modest drop in gas prices while it lasts

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“We’ve been working really hard to get prices down,” a COVID-stricken President Joe Biden said Friday regarding gasoline prices during a virtual meeting with some of his energy and economic aides. This begs the question: how hard did he and his team work to drive up gas prices during his first year and a half in office?

According to Biden, “Gas prices have fallen every day this summer for 38 straight days. Now you know, you can find gas for $3.99 or less at over 30,000 gas stations in over 35 states. There are over 145,000 gas stations in America, so he could have put it another way: nearly 80% of gas stations in the country charge more than $4 a gallon; when this president took office, the average price was $2.39.

Gasoline can only affect the rest of the economy. Groceries, building materials, medical supplies, work or leisure travel – there’s not much that doesn’t depend on a gas-powered vehicle to get from farm to table or factory to consumer. . But this administration scrambled to rationalize consumer pain over rising gas prices as a necessity to save the planet, before quickly taking credit for any slight decline.

The president has touted his release of a million barrels a day from the strategic petroleum reserve starting in the spring. Much of that ended up going to communist China, our main global adversary, instead of the domestic destinations that were apparently planned. But that aside, wouldn’t someone dedicated to ending fossil fuel addiction let all those hundreds of millions of barrels of oil sitting in underground reservoirs in Louisiana and Texas go untouched? Especially when the supposed goal is to lower gas prices, the opposite of what the green movement wants.

In a heap of blunders during House testimony on July 19, Transport Secretary Pete Buttigieg said: ‘The more pain we all feel from high gas prices, the more there is benefits for those who can access electric vehicles,” leaving the spade out that high gas prices will allow the left to kick and scream Americans into the new world of cars that cost well over $30,000 and can’t go 300 miles on a single charge.

On July 21, Buttigieg was post on Twitter“Hello! Gas prices are falling.”

At the same time, White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre raved, ‘It’s so exciting, guys’ over the drop in gas prices that’s delaying the day we’ll be force-fed. medicine that will free us from the scourge of fossil fuels.

Following Biden’s remarks on Friday, Council of Economic Advisers Chair Cecilia Rouse said “we expect gasoline prices at the pump to continue to decline” to “an additional decline of 40 cents”, but in a moment warned: “Granted, energy markets remain very volatile… Oil prices could therefore go up. And it is very difficult to reliably predict where these prices will be in the longer term. . »

In fact, it’s not at all hard to see that the current slightly lower prices can’t last very long. The American Automobile Association warned earlier this month that “July is typically the heaviest month for demand as more and more Americans hit the road, so this downward price trend could be short duration”. AAA spokesman Andrew Gross also cited an impending recession as the explanation, calling fears of a recession a “powerful motivator”. GasBuddy warns that “there is always a risk that prices could rise and hit new highs, especially if there is a hurricane or other unexpected event that shuts down oil or refining production.” The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) predicts an “above average” Atlantic hurricane season in 2022, with 14 to 21 severe storms, including three to six major hurricanes.

The left has bullied refineries, which turn crude into gasoline, diesel and jet fuel, into closing shop in the wake of dramatically reduced demand during COVID shutdowns, with too few refineries being a major underlying factor in the gasoline prices; there were five fewer refineries at the start of this year than in 2020 before the pandemic ravaged the economy. The United States has not built a new oil refinery with significant downstream unit capacity since 1977.

“Gouging” is a term Washington likes to slander the oil industry with, but the Biden administration isn’t just guilty of doing exactly what it accuses Big Oil of doing; he is trying to take credit for bringing down the inflationary gas prices he caused.

The opinions expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Epoch Times.

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Thomas McArdle was a White House speechwriter for President George W. Bush and writes for IssuesInsights.com

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