The President sent a written appeal to the Federal Trade Commission, instructing the regulator to deal with the problem.
President Joe Biden called on regulators to investigate the reasons for the sharp jump in gasoline prices, from which, according to him, working Americans suffer.
Last week, the president declared the fight against inflation his priority after inflation reached a 30-year high in October. This, in turn, provoked a drop in the president’s rating among Americans.
In a letter that Biden sent to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the president laid the blame on oil companies, which, according to him, raise prices at gas stations, despite the fact that their costs are falling and profits are growing.
Biden instructed the agency to find out whether “illegal actions” are behind the jump in energy prices.
“I do not accept that working Americans overpay for gasoline because of uncompetitive or potentially illegal actions,” the president’s letter says.
Despite signs that the U.S. economy has improved markedly after the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Biden’s rating has fallen due to shortages caused by the crisis in global supply chains, which has led to an increase in prices for almost all categories of goods, from cars to food and gasoline.
The President said that high gasoline prices are not justified, noting that although the cost of unprocessed gasoline has fallen by more than 5% over the past month, retail prices have increased by 3%.
At the same time, oil companies, according to the president, “are making significant profits,” and the two largest oil-producing companies are confidently moving towards an increase in net profit by almost half compared to 2019 and are planning a major share repurchase, the president’s letter says.
According to the American Automobile Association, on Monday, average gasoline prices in the United States were $3.41 per gallon, which is 11 cents higher than a month ago.
This is an average of 81 cents more than in 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic.
A White House spokesman told reporters that if the gap between the cost of recycled fuel and the retail price of gasoline was at the usual pre-pandemic level, prices would now be at least 25 cents less.
Biden instructed the FTC to “use all the tools available to the commission if any violations are found.”