White House press secretary Jen Psaki said in a statement Friday that President Joe Biden is opposed to any proposals to raise the gas tax.
Psaki said that Biden “knows that gas prices are a pain point for Americans—especially the middle-class families he’s put at the center of his economic agenda.”
“That’s why President Biden is opposed [to] any proposals to raise the gas tax,” she said, adding that the administration “will continue to monitor prices.”
Her statement comes as gas prices are at their highest level since 2014, as Americans prepare to travel ahead of this Memorial Day weekend.
The current average price for a gallon of unleaded gasoline is $3.04 per gallon, 16 cents more than a month ago and $1.08 per gallon higher than a year ago, according to AAA.
Part of the recent surge in gas prices has been attributed to the cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline, which led to a shutdown, supply interruption, and panic buying.
Psaki acknowledged the supply interruption and its knock-on effect on prices at the pump, saying, “since last week, prices have already stabilized after a spike earlier this month, as the Colonial Pipeline is fully flowing, and the supply situation returns to normal.”
But while Psaki noted that “oil prices are shaped by global forces,” economist and The Epoch Times contributor, Stephen Moore, blamed the Biden administration’s policies. The AAA figures show that when Biden was elected, the average gasoline price across America was around $2.20 a gallon and, since then, the price has risen every month.
“Indeed, gas prices are often out of the direct control of the president,” Moore wrote in an op-ed. “Biden didn’t cause the Colonial Pipeline sabotage. But if you want people to stop using oil and gas, what better way to achieve that than by making it much more expensive to buy?”
“What did the White House brainiacs think would happen to gas prices if we stop building pipelines, erect new Environmental Protection Agency regulations designed to kill oil and gas exploration from Texas up to North Dakota, and outlaw drilling in many areas of the country?” he wrote.
Psaki argued in her statement that the nominal gas price is not an accurate representation of the hit Americans are taking at the pump.
“As Americans are hitting the road, they are paying less in real terms for gas than they have on average over the last 15 years—and they’re paying about the same as they did in May 2018 and May 2019,” she said.
When compared to Memorial Day of 2019, gas prices are up around 7 percent. The highest recorded average gas price was $4.11 per gallon in July 2008, according to the AAA.
According to Patrick De Haan, an analyst with GasBuddy, the national average gas price is trending down slightly.
“I would expect that limited downside to continue. Probably not a whole lot in terms of motorists aren’t going to realize as nice a drop as they would want to, but ahead of Memorial Day, I think the most important thing is that we aren’t trending higher, we are trending lower,” De Haan told The Epoch Times.
Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.