The Biden administration is considering a temporary lifting of the federal gas tax as a tool to reduce prices at the pump, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said this weekend in an interview with CNN.
"The President is going to use all his authorities to do what he can to increase supply [of oil,]" the Energy Secretary told CNN, adding, in response to a question on why Biden doesn't lift the national gas tax, that "It is one of the tools."
However, Granholm said that for the time being, increasing supply is the number one priority, and direct relief for consumers is also being considered.
"Part of the challenging with the gas tax is that it funds the roads," Secretary Granholm said, explaining that revenues from this tax were part of the infrastructure bill that had just passed in Congress, and taking away the tax would interfere with the goals of that infrastructure bill.
High retail fuel prices have become a major headache for the Biden administration as they keep breaking records, earlier this month hitting an all-time high of over $5 per gallon across all states.
The situation prompted President Biden to slam the refining industry for not producing enough gasoline and diesel. In a letter sent earlier this month, Biden told refiners that "At a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable."
He went on to say, "The lack of refining capacity - and resulting unprecedented refinery profit margins - are blunting the impact of the historic actions my Administration has taken to address Vladimir Putin's Price Hike and are driving up costs for consumers."
Secretary Granholm, meanwhile, is meeting with refining industry executives this week to "discuss steps companies can take to increase refining capacity and output and reduce gas prices in the near term," per a spokesperson for the Department of Energy.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
More Top Reads From Oilprice.com:
- What Biden Is Getting Wrong About Big Oil’s Profits
- Steel Could Soar As The World Transitions To Renewable Energy
- U.S. Construction Sector Bolstered By Commercial Projects
Who could have forecast this scenario?! It is crazy.
But the climate may end having some protection if demand slows due to high fuel prices. Americans may adjust lifestyle. Biden may decide that there is really not much he can do. Maybe Americans will come to see this as a perfect storm of events that basically got in under the radar. The gods are something else again these days.