Gasoline prices hit new high as GOP senators accuse Biden of withholding production

Medium gas price in the United States hit a new high on Thursday, according to AAA’s gas price calculator, after Republican senators criticized the Biden administration for a “de facto ban on new drilling.”

The national average cost of a regular gallon of gasoline hit $4,589 early Thursday morning. This price surpassed Wednesday’s previous high of $4.567, which broke Tuesday’s high of $4.523, which in turn broke Monday’s high of $4.470.

The award comes as the European Union edges towards oil sanctions against Russia amid the Kremlin’s invasion of Ukraine. It also comes against a backdrop of record inflation, with the consumer price index reaching 8.3% in April, hovering near the March 40-year high. The price hike also follows the Department of the Interior’s cancellation of an oil and gas lease sale of more than a million acres in Cook Inlet, Alaska last week, which the DOI attributed. to a “lack of industry interest”. The DOI also canceled two leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

Gas prices have soared 50% nationally in the past year (Getty Images/Getty Images)

The White House has blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin for record US gasoline prices, even calling the spike a “#PutinPriceHike” and promising that President Biden will do whatever he can to protect Americans from “the pain at the pump”. “


Biden last month announced that the Environmental Protection Agency will allow the sale of E15 gasoline – gasoline that uses a 15% blend of ethanol – across the country this summer. Biden also decided to release 1 million barrels of oil per day from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve for the next 6 months. The president is also asking Congress to make companies pay royalties on unused oil wells and non-producing acres of federal land, in an effort to encourage new production.

Still, critics have claimed that Biden’s actions on energy policies have created a “supply problem” in the market.

Twenty Republican senators, led by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, sent a letter to Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo calling on the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) to quickly issue permits needed to bring additional production online from existing offshore federal oil and gas. leases.

Senator Ted Cruz, R-Texas (FoxNews)

“While the Biden administration and members of Congress blame the nation’s oil and gas industry for sitting idle on more than 9,000 drilling permits and millions of acres in ‘inactive leases,’ the delays in NMFS authorization represents an example of the administration’s de facto ban on new drilling – hampering domestic oil and gas investment, exploration and production,” the senators wrote.


The senators attributed the delays to “three mistakes made and admitted by the administration” that date back to mathematical errors in calculating the number of endangered species in the Gulf of Mexico in a 2021 final rule governing oil exploration and offshore gas.

“It is unacceptable that agency miscalculations have restricted access to safe, secure and reliable domestic oil and gas production due to substantial, unnecessary and arbitrary delays in clearances,” they added.

During his first week in office, Biden signed an executive order temporarily suspending new oil and gas leases on federal lands. administration resumed the new lease last month following legal challenges against the ban. The administration is appealing a ruling in which Trump-appointed Judge James Cain overturned the ban.

Steve Milloy, a former member of the Trump-Pence EPA transition and founder of, blamed the president for a lack of oil production in the United States.


“I blame Biden for any lack of production. He scared off investments,” Milloy told FOX Business last week. He suggested the president will find “any excuse not to drill. They even tried to use the social cost of the carbon decision to stop leasing.”

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