US President Biden delivers remarks on efforts to decrease excessive gas costs in the South Court Auditorium at Eisenhower Executive Office Building June 22, 2022 in Washington, DC.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden known as on Congress Wednesday to suspend the federal gas tax for 90 days as costs at the pump surge to file highs.
The federal tax presently stands at 18 cents for a gallon of standard gasoline, and 24 cents per gallon of diesel gas.
“I call on the companies to pass this along — every penny of this 18 cents reduction — to the consumer,” Biden stated Wednesday. “There’s no time now for profiteering,” he stated.
The president stated such a transfer can have no impression on the Highway Trust Fund, saying different revenues can be utilized to fund the roughly $10 billion price.
Biden additionally known as on states to suspend their gas taxes, or discover different methods to deliver some aid.
Still, some have been fast to notice that suspending the gas tax will preserve demand regular and never deal with the structural points in the market.
Demand for petroleum merchandise has bounced again as world economies reopen, whereas provide has remained constrained. An absence of refining capability has additionally despatched costs greater.
“I fully understand that the gas tax holiday alone is not going to fix the problem. But it will provide families some immediate relief. Just a little bit of breathing room as we continue working to bring down prices for the long haul,” Biden stated.
Prices are rising throughout the board with inflation at a 40-year excessive, however the surge in gasoline costs is particularly notable. The nationwide common for a gallon of tax topped $5 for the first time on file earlier this month.
Biden has known as the surge in costs “Putin’s price hike.” He has additionally blamed oil and gas firms for what he calls prioritizing income at the expense of customers.
Last week, he despatched a letter to the CEOs of the largest refining firms urging them to improve output. Industry executives say even when they needed to increase operations, they cannot due to labor shortages and different points.
“[M]y message is simple: to the companies running gas stations and setting those prices at the pump, this is a time of war…these are not normal times. Bring down the price you are charging at the pump to reflect the cost you are paying for the product,” he stated.
Biden stated these actions could lead on to costs at the pump dropping by $1 per gallon or extra. “It doesn’t reduce all the pain, but it will be a big help,” he stated.
It stays to be seen whether or not Biden’s name with achieve help on Capitol Hill.
“Although well-intentioned, this policy would at best achieve only miniscule relief while blowing a $10 billion dollar hole in the Highway Trust Fund that would need to be filled if we want to continue to fix crumbling bridges, address the spike in traffic deaths, and build a modern infrastructure system,” stated Rep. Peter DeFazio, a Democrat from Oregon and chair of the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.