Biden's Frustrations Mount Alongside Gas Prices
As the average gas price in America hits an all-time high of $5 per gallon, experts say there is little President Biden can do to slow oil prices from rising, which is also driving inflation. In a press conference last week, the President expressed his frustration with ExxonMobil for its refusal to increase production and supply and ease consumers’ pain at the pump. "Why don’t you tell them what Exxon’s profits were this quarter? Exxon made more money than God this year,” said the President to a reporter.
And yesterday, in a letter Biden sent to the top US oil companies, he stated "At a time of war, refinery profit margins well above normal being passed directly onto American families are not acceptable.”
MSNBC: Biden Is Calling On Oil Producers To Produce More, Says Energy Secretary, June 15, 2022.
CBS: California's AG investigating oil and gas companies, including ExxonMobil, April 29, 2022.
CBS: Climate change lawsuits | Taking fossil fuel firms to court, April 17, 2022.
350 Silicon Valley: Exxon Exposed | A Conversation with Geoffrey Supran and Ben Franta, August 5, 2021.
Why This Matters
According to experts, expensive gas is here to stay. "Most traders, policymakers, and analysts see oil demand growing through 2023 and supply struggling to keep pace,” writes Javier Blas in his recent Bloomberg opinion piece.
President Biden is still searching for ways to reduce gas prices. Next month, he plans to visit Saudi Arabia, where he is expected to discuss oil production. The trip was announced after the country and other resource-rich OPEC members announced that they would boost their oil production this summer. Whether it will be enough to ease the consumer burden remains to be seen.
Bloomberg Markets and Finance: Oil Demand Could Hit All-Time High This Year: Blas, January 18, 2022.
EVs On An Upswing
Though the outlook for American consumers remains bleak, rocketing oil prices could drive more consumers to purchase electric vehicles. A recent report from CarGurus, an automotive shopping firm, found that 40% of Americans now expect to own an electric car within the next five years, compared to only 32% in February, and 30% a year ago.
It’s also possible that some drivers may not even realize how much they’re saving because several vehicles, like the Toyota Tundra i-Force Max pick-up and some Jeep Wrangler models, have integrated mild-hybrid technology without branding their vehicles as such. These systems can save drivers up to two miles per gallon in the city.
CNBC: The Big Business of Energy For The EV Industry, March 22, 2022.
American Lung Association: The Electric Vehicle Solution, February 3, 2021.