The White House press team has declined to clarify President Joe Biden’s social media post requesting that gas stations bring down the price of gas.
According to a report by Fox News, the White House pointed requests for comment toward a speech Biden made calling for gas tax to be put on hold to relieve some of the burden of the price of gas.
“My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril,” Biden posted on Twitter Saturday. “Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.”
My message to the companies running gas stations and setting prices at the pump is simple: this is a time of war and global peril.
Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you’re paying for the product. And do it now.
— President Biden (@POTUS) July 2, 2022
When Fox News Sunday contacted the White House for a response, they declined to specify which particular gas stations he was referring to or whether he was referring to particular gas station owners.
The White House declined to comment on whether the president thought gas stations should be forced to sell gas at cost rather than at a profit, directing Fox News to a speech Biden gave earlier this year that advocated for a gas tax holiday instead. Once expenditures are taken into account, gas stations often only make 2 to 5 cents per gallon of gas that they sell.
“I’ve heard plenty of explanations from companies and economists about why it normally takes time for these price reductions to reach the consumer,” Biden said at the time, adding that “when the price of a barrel of oil goes up, it doesn’t make take much time for the price at the pump to go up.”
The president’s tweet created a number of critics, including Amazon founder Jeff Bezos who called the statement “misdirection,” and insinuated that the president might not understand economics at all: “Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this,” Bezos said Saturday. “It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics.”
Ouch. Inflation is far too important a problem for the White House to keep making statements like this. It’s either straight ahead misdirection or a deep misunderstanding of basic market dynamics. https://t.co/XgKfEICZpk
— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) July 3, 2022
The White House responded to the billionare Amazon founder on Twitter Sunday, with White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre arguing that gas prices have not fallen along with a recent dip in oil prices.
Oil prices have dropped by about $15 over the past month, but prices at the pump have barely come down.
That’s not “basic market dynamics.” It’s a market that is failing the American consumer. https://t.co/xpsK0QsQPT
— Karine Jean-Pierre (@PressSec) July 3, 2022