President Biden admitted during a CNN town hall Thursday night that he has no immediate solution to the problem of spiking gas prices and suggested that Americans would not start seeing relief at the pump until next year.
“My guess is, you’ll start to see gas prices come down as we get by and going into the winter – I mean, excuse me, into next year, 2022,” the president told moderator Anderson Cooper at the Baltimore event.
“I don’t see anything that’s going to happen in the meantime that’s going to significantly reduce gas prices.
“I must tell you, I don’t have a near-term answer,” Biden added before musing on the possibility that he could “go in the [Strategic] Petroleum Reserve and take out and probably reduce the price of gas maybe 18 cents or so per gallon, [but] it’s still gonna be above three bucks.”
According to AAA, the national average price of a gallon of regular gasoline had reached $3.36 Thursday, up four cents from the average on Monday. The organization noted that no state had an average gas price lower than $3 per gallon.
In Gorda, Calif., on the state’s Central Coast, a gallon of unleaded was fetching $7.59, while Fox 5 reported last week that Manhattan motorists were paying nearly $5 per gallon to fill up their tank.
AAA attributed the price spike to high demand, high crude oil prices and a drop in gas stocks –which Biden sought to blame Thursday on OPEC and its oil-producing allies in the Middle East.
“Gas prices relate to a foreign policy initiative that is about something that goes beyond the cost of gas … That’s because of the supply being withheld by OPEC,” he said, “and so there’s a lot of negotiation that is … there’s a lot of Middle Eastern folks that want to talk to me. I’m not sure I’m going to talk to them, but the point is, it’s about gas production.”
Republicans have blamed Biden for spiking energy prices, citing his administration’s pursuit of inflationary spending policies as well as the president’s cancellation of the Keystone XL Pipeline on his first day in office.
“Gas prices are at the highest levels since 2014 and Americans’ heating costs could increase as much as 54% this winter,” the Republican National Committee’s @RNCResearch account tweeted in response to Biden’s remarks. “Biden attacked American energy, and now Americans are paying the price!”
“The answer ultimately is, ultimately meaning the next three or four years, is investing in renewable energy,” insisted Biden, who also touted the “Big Three” US automakers’ August announcement that electric vehicles will make up between 40 and 50 percent of their sales by 2030.
“So what will happen is, you’re going to see a dramatic drop, a dramatic drop, in what’s gonna happen in terms of gas prices as we go into the next two or three years,” the president promised.
But in the meantime, Biden acknowledged, “it’s gonna be hard. It’s gonna be hard. There’s a possibility to be able to bring it down. It depends on a little bit on Saudi Arabia and a few other things that are in the offing.”