Feds Split on How to Fix Gas Prices

Heather A. Craig/shutterstock.com

Any time gas prices rise there is an outcry about the increase. From the increases caused by hurricanes taking a refinery offline, to increases due to oil constraints in the middle east. Since President Biden took office though, these cries have never been silenced. Instead, they have steadily gotten louder and angrier as the prices skyrocket.

With prices recently reaching a $5 a gallon average across the US, many local leaders are trying to do whatever they can to help. While WV recently saw the highest week-over-week jump at 28 cents per gallon, the local leadership has refused to suspend the state gas tax. Meanwhile, six other states have taken steps to do exactly that.

As they are seeing no actual actions being taken to soften the blow at the federal level, they are doing what they can at their level, and pushing ideas up the ladder. Naturally, numerous members of the Federal government believe they have the right answer to fixing the situation. While they disagree in tactics, they both are making their cases, and to the surprise of absolutely no one, it’s split between left and right.

Despite her state seeing the largest jump in the past week, Rep. Carol Miller, (R-WV) has an idea about where the Federal government can help. “The first thing that we need to do is to get the president to start approving all the pipelines and energy development he possibly can and to stop the federal freeze on all the oil and gas projects that we have.” Meanwhile, President Biden has his ideas.

President Biden on the other hand is insisting help is on the way. “We’ve got 240-thousand barrels as well coming from other nations, we’re going to keep pushing on it.” He seems to believe that the influx of oil from other nations will help fix the problem here at home. Like this is something that’s never been done before.

Problem is that adding their oil to our marketplace does nothing to truly change the price of oil for the US or anyone else. All it does is shrink down the cost per barrel cost by a fraction of a penny, and that will still change with each transaction. Yet, if we increase domestic production, we can increase output from refineries by bringing them back online or back towards full production.

By having rising domestic production of oil, and a rise in the refinement of that oil we could easily produce enough to create a glut of supply and allow it to better serve the demand. This would lower the cost of gas and other fuels exponentially. It’s something many are willing to do but as Rep. Miller pointed out, we have a federal freeze on oil and gas projects here in the US. Something President Biden and the rest of the left seem to forget often.

Analysts have been calling for a freeze on the 18.4 cents per gallon federal gas tax. Given the $20 billion estimated taxes raised by that tax to pay for road and highway maintenance, it’s not a shocker that they refuse to give that up. Never mind how little of that money seems to make it to the roads when you look at how poorly many are maintained.

Other states like California and Minnesota are discussing the idea of issuing hundreds of dollars in rebate checks to car owners to help with the gas costs. There is no word on how these checks will be paid, what drivers will need to do to get these checks, or how they will be balanced out. Given the history of environmental laws and regulations pushed by California, it’s hard to see them paying a big pickup driver more than a Prius owner.