As inflation continues to soar, driving the cost of everyday goods, services, and necessities such as gasoline to record-high prices, the White House is taking an increasing amount of heat from all corners of the media world.
According to Fox Business, in an effort to begin driving down gas prices, which topped $5.00 per gallon average for the first time in U.S. history this week, President Joe Biden has reportedly suggested that he’s willing to consider using emergency war powers to compel oil companies to increase production.
While many economic experts have explained that the high prices are a result of Biden’s policies early on in his presidency, combined with the war in Ukraine and U.S. inflation, the Biden administration continues to insist that the problem is largely driven by big oil and their pursuit of increased profits.
President Biden fired off a letter to a number of major U.S. oil companies this week, placing them on alert by threatening to invoke wartime emergency powers to force the companies to boost production.
NEW: President Biden today will warn CEOs of the nation’s largest oil companies that he’s considering invoking emergency powers to boost U.S. refinery output, according to a letter obtained by Axios. https://t.co/mBSXbc0Vme
— Axios (@axios) June 15, 2022
Biden, in his letter, continued a long-running narrative in which the administration places a bulk of the blame of high prices on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began at the end of February. Analysts have pointed out that the rise in gas prices began in Biden’s first year in office, prior to the Ukraine invasion.
“There is no question that Vladimir Putin is principally responsible for the intense financial pain the American people and their families are bearing,” Biden’s letter read. “But amid a war that has raised gasoline prices more than $1.70 per gallon, historically high refinery profit margins are worsening that pain.”
The president added: “Your companies and others have an opportunity to take immediate actions to increase the supply of gasoline, diesel and other refined product you are producing.”
“My administration is prepared to use all reasonable and appropriate Federal Government tools and emergency authorities to increase refinery capacity and output in the near term, and to ensure that every region of this country is appropriately supplied,” Biden continued.
According to Axios, U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm will soon convene an “emergency meeting” on the matter.
A number of oil and gas producers have countered the administration’s claims with their own, slamming the White House for not issuing new drilling leases on public lands, which industry experts claim would help begin to ease oil prices, and eventually gas prices at the pump.
As Bloomberg noted, the Biden administration last used the Defense Production Act (DPA) in May to address the baby formula shortage.