Georgia’s Republican Gov. Brian Kemp recently signed an executive order that extends the gas tax holiday into August, a move that is expected to provide some relief to the state’s citizens.
Back in mid-March, Kemp signed House Bill 304, suspending the state tax on motor fuel. The suspension was supposed to remain in effect until May 31. But in May, the governor extended the moratorium through July 14. And with the new Executive Order 07.01.22.02, the suspension of gas taxes will remain in effect through Aug. 13.
President Joe Biden and Democratic leaders have “not done their part” to tackle the issue of high gas prices and are instead asking people to live “more frugally,” Kemp said in a July 1 press release from the Governor’s Office. Kemp promised to remain committed to easing the economic burden that Georgian citizens are facing due to the “disastrous policies from Washington politicians.”
“To provide actual relief to Georgians, I am once again extending the supply chain state of emergency and suspending our state motor fuel tax. In addition to these actions, I am suspending the locomotive fuel tax to help fight rising costs that are being passed on to consumers,” Kemp said.
Due to Kemp and state leaders’ “fiscally conservative approach” to budgeting, Georgia is able to extend the gas tax suspension, the office said. Since its implementation, the average gas price in Georgia has “often been the lowest” in the United States and is presently around 50 percent below the national average for a gallon of regular gas, it stated.
According to data from AAA, a gallon of regular gas averaged $4.822 per gallon nationwide on July 5. In Georgia, gas prices averaged $4.331 per gallon.
Biden’s Gasoline Policy
Georgia’s gas tax extension comes as criticism of the Biden administration’s gasoline policies is growing. Since becoming president last year, Biden has canceled the Keystone XL Pipeline, suspended the sale of new oil leases, and pushed for greener energy alternatives.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now plans to reverse a 2017 decision that designated regions of the Permian Basin in certain New Mexico and Texas counties as nonattainment areas, a decision which will go into effect in September.
This will make the Permian Basin non-compliant with the 2015 Ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). In a letter to Biden, Greg Abbott, the Republican governor of Texas, warned that the proposal risks crippling oil production in the Permian Basin.
“This action alone might serve as a catalyst for economic harm leading to an even deeper reliance on imported foreign energy and a faster economic decline into the pending recession by forcing even more pain for American consumers to pay at the pump,” Abbott said in the letter.