Biden asks gas stations to cut pump prices

President Biden lambasted gas stations on Tuesday for allegedly delaying lowering fuel prices in line with falling oil prices.

In a Monday meeting with economic aides, Biden lamented that although crude prices fell sharply last month, it took “a long time” for the price drop to trickle down to the consumer.

“However, we haven’t seen the lower prices reflected at the pumps. Meanwhile, oil and gas companies are still making record profits – billions of dollars in profits,” the president said on Monday.

“My message is simple. To companies that operate gas stations and set these prices at the pump: Reduce the prices you charge at the pump to reflect the cost you pay for the product. »

Biden’s comments, which were released by the White House, were reported by Insider.

The president urged petrol stations to pass savings on to customers more quickly.

“Do it now,” Biden said. “Do it now. In less than a month, do it now.

“And it’s going to save people a lot of money.”

The national average cost of a gallon of fuel is about 17% higher than a year ago, according to AAA.
The national average cost of a gallon of fuel is about 17% higher than a year ago, according to AAA.
Anthony Behar/Sipa USA

Bob Bilbruck, CEO of business strategy firm Captjur, told the Post that Biden was “far from the base.”

“I grew up in the convenience store gas station business,” Bilbruck said.

“Margins are very slim in these operations and depending on their relationship in the buying ecosystem, they may buy from a bulk feeder or directly from the grower. [so] we are talking about very little price difference,” he said.

Since gas station owners work with small margins, they face “constant competitive pressure from the neighboring station to keep their prices competitive.”

“It’s just supply and demand,” Bilbruck told the Post.

“You have less drilling going on and less oil and refined gas – prices are going up.”

He added: “It’s basic economics – if Biden wanted to have real impact and lower costs for the consumer, there’s a lot he could do.”

Gasoline prices rose after 99 straight days in which they fell.
Gasoline prices rose after 99 straight days in which they fell.
Getty Images

Free-market supporters also didn’t like the president’s comments.

“For the president of the country to pressure private companies to cut profits is not a good idea at best,” geopolitical analyst Irina Tsukerman, who runs Scarab Rising, told The Post.

“These comments indicate that Biden is avoiding responsibility for his own contribution to the price crisis – the policies that drove up gas prices to begin with, the failure to authorize leases on federal lands, the halting of pipelines, the gas tax hike, among others. »

The average price of a gallon of fuel hit $3.75 nationwide on Tuesday, up 17% from a year ago, when the cost was $3.19 a gallon.

Biden administration officials touted lower gasoline prices starting in mid-June, when they hit an all-time high of $5.02.

Gasoline prices rose for the first time last week, ending a 99-day streak of falling prices.

Gasoline prices mainly reflect trends in global oil prices, and crude – both the US benchmark and international Brent – ​​has been tumbling since mid-June on growing fears of a global recession that would reduce energy demand.

U.S. crude rose $0.73 on Tuesday, closing at $77.44 a barrel. Brent crude jumped 1.32% to $85.17 a barrel.

Leave a Comment