By Thomas Catenacci
Fox News, Jun. 22, 2022
President Joe Biden has pushed a series of policies and executive actions to lower gasoline prices, but has yet to back boosting domestic oil production.
The president called on Congress Wednesday to implement a three-month gas tax holiday which would reduce pump prices by 18 cents a gallon and diesel fuel prices by 24 cents per gallon. Pushing a temporary gas tax pause is Biden’s latest attempt to address gasoline prices which remain near all-time highs, according to AAA data.
“President Biden understands that a gas tax holiday alone will not, on its own, relieve the run up in costs that we’ve seen,” the White House said in an announcement. “But the President believes that at this unique moment when the war in Ukraine is imposing costs on American families, Congress should do what it can to provide working families breathing room.”
In recent months, Biden has ordered three separate releases from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve and issued a waiver allowing the sale of gas with higher biofuel concentration as prices skyrocketed. The president warned oil companies last week he would take action if they didn’t boost petroleum refining capacity.
The White House has also reportedly weighed a fuel export ban and gas rebate program.
However, the Biden administration has simultaneously doubled down on its climate agenda, canceling multiple oil and gas lease sales, revoking the Keystone XL pipeline permit and begging Middle Eastern producers to boost output.
“This is an election year gimmick,” Daniel Turner, the executive director of energy group Power The Future, said of a potential gas tax holiday in an interview with Fox News Digital. “It has nothing to do with the energy industry, it has nothing to do with taxes as a whole.”
“The Biden administration is pursuing this green agenda at all costs and every casualty — which is the American economy, the financial security of American families — are necessary casualties in this war, and they are comfortable with the casualties,” Turner continued. “So, again, these are Band-Aid solutions that are meant to distract people, distract voters and show that he’s engaged and doing something.”
In its announcement Wednesday, the White House noted oil production is increasing but said efforts to boost drilling “must be coupled with medium- and long-term efforts to transition our economy away from fossil fuels produced by autocrats and to clean energy.”
The U.S. produced 12 million barrels of crude oil per day during the week ending June 10, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. By comparison, domestic drillers produced 13.1 million barrels a day in March 2020.
“The administration pretends as though no one’s paying attention to the fact that they’ve shut down pipelines, that they’ve stopped leasing, that they’ve made it harder to produce wherever they could,” Dan Kish, a senior fellow at the Institute for Energy Research, told Fox News in an interview.
“Somehow, he pretends to be surprised that price of gasoline is going up and people are hurting at the pump,” he added.
The White House didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.