Pump prices hit a new record on Monday, the same day President Joe Biden discussed the “incredible transition” of the United States and the world away from fossil fuels.
The new national average now stands at just under $4.60 a gallon, the highest on record by the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) gasoline price tracker.
The median gas price is over $4 in all 50 states. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm said he would likely stay there “throughout this year” in an interview with a local Fox affiliate.
While grappling with rising costs, the White House is also bracing for turbulence in the cost of diesel fuel – which hit its own record high last week.
The administration is considering an emergency declaration to release diesel from an infrequently used stockpile in an effort to deal with a major supply crisis and sharp price hike, an administration official said.
Fuel costs had already risen as the economy rebounded from the COVID-19 pandemic, but soared when Russian President Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine plunged the global energy supply chain into turmoil. chaos earlier this year.
The president’s strategy to combat the rise, which he has dubbed “Putin’s price hike”, has largely consisted of emphasizing the need for a faster transition to green energy.
“When it comes to gas prices, we’re going through an incredible transition that’s unfolding, that God willing, when this is over, we’ll be stronger and the world will be stronger and less dependent on fossil fuels,” he said. Biden. , referring to a possible change in Russia’s status as one of the world’s leading energy suppliers.
President Joe Biden says Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced the world into an ‘incredible transition’ away from reliance on fossil fuels
Meanwhile, the average price of a gallon of gasoline nationwide in the United States is 51% higher than it was at the same time last year.
The new record near $4.60 a gallon beats the previous benchmark set Sunday when gasoline was just above $4.59 a gallon
“What I was able to do to keep it from getting worse – and that’s bad, the price of gas at the pump… affects a lot of families.”
After announcing a ban on all Russian energy imports, Biden in late March ordered the historic release of one million barrels of oil a day for six months from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve in a bid to stabilize price.
He also criticized US oil and gas companies for price gouging and called for consequences for US energy producers sitting on idle drilling leases.
But those moves didn’t stop pump prices from hitting a new high, beating the previous record set Sunday at $4.59 a gallon.
This is about 51% more than the same period last year.
Coastal states appear to be the hardest hit – California hit a new statewide average of around $6 a gallon.
New York, Oregon, Washington and Alaska are also among the states with record gasoline prices on Monday.
Diesel fuel, an alternative to regular gasoline that provides more power and mileage per gallon, saw its national average price hit a new benchmark high last week on May 18.
Gasoline prices above $6.00 per gallon are displayed at a Chevron gas station on May 20, 2022 in San Rafael, California
Regular gas prices are $4.79 at 7-Eleven along Rt. 61 in Pottsville, Pennsylvania on Friday, May 20
The current average cost of diesel is $5.55. The May 18 high was just under $5.58.
Diesel is essential to the US economy, powering farms and the construction industry as well as the trucks, trains and boats that help transport goods.
Rising diesel prices will help drive up inflation, which has hit 40-year highs.
Gasoline prices rose 43.6% in April compared to the same period last year, according to the Labor Department.
That’s likely part of why the White House is considering tapping the Northeast Heating Oil Reserve, created in 2000 to address supply issues and only used once in 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.
The impact of such a release would be limited by the relatively small size of the reserve, which contains only 1 million barrels of diesel.
Inflation hit a four-decade high in March, falling slightly in April to a still-massive high of 8.3%
“We have implemented this reserve option to stay ahead of the problem and will not hesitate to use other levers at our disposal to support families and the recovery,” said a House official. White.
But for weeks, Republicans have called on Biden to increase the volume of domestic energy production instead to solve the gas price crisis.
GOP Sen. John Barrasso, a senior member of the Senate Energy Committee, pointed out Monday that Democrats criticized Trump for “high gas prices” in 2018.
He unearthed an old tweet from Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer attacking Donald Trump over pump prices on May 23, 2018.
‘In 2018, [Schumer] criticized the president for his inaction in the face of high gas prices. The national average was $2.87/gallon. Today it’s $4.59. [Retweet] if you support US energy expansion to help rein in pump prices,’ Barrasso wrote on the platform.
“Four years later, it’s even MORE important to push @POTUS to fight to lower gas prices. It’s time for more American energy.
His counterpart on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a senior member, wrote on the site: “Americans are paying the price for President Biden’s war on American energy. “
“It’s high time to #FlipTheSwitch on US energy production,” she said.