President Joe Biden referred to as on Congress Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days as costs on the pump surge to file highs.
The federal tax at present stands at 18 cents for a gallon of normal gasoline, and 24 cents per gallon for diesel.
“I call on the companies to pass this along — every penny of this 18 cents reduction — to the consumer,” Biden mentioned Wednesday. “There’s no time now for profiteering.”
The president mentioned such a transfer could have no affect on the Freeway Belief Fund, saying different revenues can be utilized to fund the roughly $10 billion value.
Biden additionally referred to as on states to suspend their gas taxes, or discover different methods to carry some reduction.
Nonetheless, some have been fast to word that suspending the gas tax will maintain demand regular and never handle the structural points out there.
Demand for petroleum merchandise has bounced again as international economies reopen, whereas provide has remained constrained. An absence of refining capability additionally has despatched costs greater.
“I fully understand that the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem. But it will provide families some immediate relief. Just a little bit of breathing room as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul,” Biden mentioned.
Costs are rising throughout the board with inflation at a 40-year excessive, however the surge in gasoline costs is particularly notable. The nationwide common for a gallon of tax topped $5 for the primary time on file earlier this month.
Biden has referred to as the surge in costs “Putin’s price hike.” He has additionally blamed oil and gas corporations for what he calls prioritizing income on the expense of customers.
Final week, he despatched a letter to the CEOs of the biggest refining corporations urging them to improve output. Trade executives say even when they wished to enhance operations, they’re constrained from doing so due to labor shortages and different points.
“[M]y message is simple: to the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war … these are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product,” the president mentioned.
Biden mentioned these actions could lead on to costs on the pump dropping by $1 per gallon or extra. “It doesn’t reduce all the pain, but it will be a big help,” he mentioned.
It stays to be seen whether or not the White Home’s name will achieve assist on Capitol Hill.
“Although well intentioned, this policy would at best achieve only minuscule relief while blowing a $10 billion hole in the Highway Trust Fund that would need to be filled if we want to continue to fix crumbling bridges, address the spike in traffic deaths and build a modern infrastructure system,” mentioned Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon and chair of the Home Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.