President Biden has called on the Federal Trade Commission to investigate oil and gas companies over rising fuel prices, suggesting that the companies may be engaging in illegal conduct that results in the rising prices – despite Biden consistently enacting policies that restrict the domestic production of oil since entering office.
“I am writing to call your attention to mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies,” the letter said. “The bottom line is this: gasoline prices at the pump remain high, even though oil and gas companies’ costs are declining. The Federal Trade Commission has authority to consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump. I believe you should do so immediately.”
The letter added, “prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up. Usually, prices at the pump correspond to movements in the price of unfinished gasoline, which is the main ingredient in the gas people buy at the gas station. But in the last month, the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent in that same period. This unexplained large gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average. Meanwhile, the largest oil and gas companies in America are generating significant profits off higher energy prices.”
Gas prices have reached their highest level since 2014, and are currently about 50% higher than they were when Biden entered office.
“U.S. gasoline prices in October averaged $3.38 per gallon while U.S. oil prices averaged $81.48 per barrel, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration,” the Wall Street Journal reported. “The last time U.S. gas prices reached similar levels in October 2014—$3.25 per gallon—U.S. oil prices were $81.40 per barrel. U.S. oil production sharply increased since last year to about 11.5 million barrels per day, according to the EIA, but is still well below pre-pandemic levels of around 13 million barrels per day.”
The letter comes after the Biden administration confirmed that it is considering shutting down an oil pipeline in Michigan, which would place further pressure on fuel prices to rise.
“Revoking the permits for the [Line 5] pipeline that delivers oil from western Canada across Wisconsin, the Great Lakes and Michigan and into Ontario, would please environmentalists who have urged the White House to block fossil fuel infrastructure, but it would aggravate a rift with Canada and could exacerbate a spike in energy prices that Republicans are already using as a political weapon,” Politico Pro reported. “Killing a pipeline while U.S. gasoline prices are the highest in years could be political poison for Biden, who has seen his approval rating crash in recent months.”
Thanksgiving Dinner Will Be 14% More Expensive This Year
As President Biden’s inflation crisis continues to worsen, the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner will be 14% more this year than last year, according to the Farm Bureau.
The Farm Bureau noted, “The average cost of this year’s classic Thanksgiving feast for 10 is $53.31 or less than $6.00 per person. This is a $6.41 or 14% increase from last year’s average of $46.90. The centerpiece on most Thanksgiving tables – the turkey – costs more than last year, at $23.99 for a 16-pound bird. That’s roughly $1.50 per pound, up 24% from last year.”
Farm Bureau used ‘volunteer shoppers’ to check the prices from Oct. 26 to Nov. 8, about two weeks before most grocery store chains started lowering the price of whole frozen turkeys.
“Several factors contributed to the increase in average cost of this year’s Thanksgiving dinner,” AFBF Senior Economist Veronica Nigh explained. “These include dramatic disruptions to the U.S. economy and supply chains over the last 20 months; inflationary pressure throughout the economy; difficulty in predicting demand during the COVID-19 pandemic and high global demand for food, particularly meat… The trend of consumers cooking and eating at home more often due to the pandemic led to increased supermarket demand and higher retail food prices in 2020 and 2021, compared to pre-pandemic prices in 2019.”
According to the Department of Labor, U.S. inflation has hit its highest annual rate in more than 30 years in October. The consumer price index, a key inflation metric, increased 6.2% from October 2020 to October 2021, the fastest annual rate since 1990. In the month of October alone, inflation surged 0.9% compared to the 0.6% economists expected, according to CNBC.
Biden Signs $1 Trillion Infrastructure Bill Into Law
Monday, the infamous infrastructure bill being debated for months was signed by President Biden. In a ceremony on the White House lawn, Biden signed the $1 trillion infrastructure bill into law.
“This law is a blue-collar blueprint to rebuild America,” Biden said in a speech prior to the signing” Biden initially said. Later in the ceremony he added, “next year will be the first year in twenty years American infrastructure investment will grow faster than China’s…We’ll once again have the best roads, bridges, ports and airports over the next decade.”
Biden and the Democrats are still attempting to pass an additional $1.75 trillion spending package to accomplish more of their agenda they could not weasel through in this bill. The infrastructure legislation “allocates $550 billion in new spending over five years towards building and repairing roads, bridges, airports, and railways, as well as funds for electric vehicles and charging stations. The bill also renews existing spending on transportation projects” reports National Review.
“The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office estimated that the bill will add $256 billion to the federal deficit over the next ten years, in a report from August. Much of Republican opposition to the legislation has focused on its price, with Representative Dan Crenshaw (R., Texas) calling the bill “too expensive” in a video message earlier this month.”
“This is what can happen when Republicans and Democrats say we’re going to work together to get something done,” Senator Rob Portman (R., Ohio) said at the signing ceremony. Portman was one of 19 Republican senators who voted for the legislation in August.
“The signing comes just over a week after the House passed the bill 228-206, with 13 Republicans voting in favor of the legislation. The Senate passed the bill 69-30 in August.”
Initially, progressive Representatives such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ilhan Omar withheld support in order to forcefully pass the reconciliation package while moderate Democrats said they would not vote for the reconciliation package until they saw an estimate from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
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