President Biden calls on the Federal Trade Commission to look into whether "illegal conduct" is pushing gas prices up

President Biden calls on the Federal Trade Commission to look into whether “illegal conduct” is pushing gas prices up

As gas prices soar throughout the United States, President Joe Biden referred to as on the Federal Trade Commission to look into whether unlawful conduct is driving up the price of gas prices for households. Individuals have seen rising prices, from prices at the pump to purchasing at grocery shops

In a Wednesday letter addressed to Lina Khan, chair of the FTC, Mr. Biden referred to as her consideration to “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”

“The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining,” Mr. Biden wrote. “The Federal Trade Commission has the authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.”

The price of gasoline is up almost 50% from a yr in the past, the newest Client Value Index confirmed, as inflation had its largest annual enhance in additional than 30 years at 6.2%. The typical value for a gallon of gas is $3.41, in accordance to AAA, which famous this was a slight dip from final month. The typical value one yr in the past was $2.12.

AAA predicts greater than 53.4 million folks will journey for the Thanksgiving vacation, up 13% from final yr. That features 48.3 million folks by automotive. 

In his letter to the FTC chair, Mr. Biden famous that a number of months in the past, the director of the Nationwide Financial Council wrote to her at his request asking the fee to think about monitoring gas markets and think about addressing unlawful conduct. Since then, fee employees was directed by Khan to strengthen oversight, Biden stated. 

“However, prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up. Usually, prices at the pump correspond to movement in prices of unfinished gasoline, which is the main ingredient in the gas people buy at the gas station,” Biden wrote Wednesday. “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 in that same period. This unexplained large gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average.”

In response to the president’s letter, a spokesperson for the fee stated, “The FTC is concerned about this issue, and we are looking into it.”

The American Petroleum Institute, which is the lobbyist for the largest gas and oil corporations, pushed again on the president’s request.

“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. 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,” stated Frank Macchiarola, senior vice chairman for coverage, economics and regulatory affairs, in a press release. Relatively than launching investigations on markets which might be regulated or pleading with OPEC to enhance provide, he stated, “we should be encouraging the safe and responsible development of American-made oil and natural gas.”

Over the summer season, the Biden administration urged OPEC, the Group of the Petroleum Exporting Nations, and its allies to enhance oil manufacturing in an effort to fight climbing prices as the coronavirus pandemic restoration continues. 

Mr. Biden traveled to Detroit on Wednesday afternoon as a part of his effort to tout the bipartisan infrastructure invoice he signed into legislation earlier this week. There, he visited Common Motors’ electrical car meeting plant and highlighted how the legislation will assist construct electrical car charging stations making it simpler to journey by electrical car throughout the nation and scale back emissions.

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