The national average price for gasoline surpassed $5.00 per gallon this summer, even though prices at the pump are currently $3.85 per gallon, according to data from AAA, marking a nearly 62% increase since Biden assumed office at the beginning of last year. Jean-Pierre nevertheless contended that the recent decline is the fruit of the commander-in-chief’s work to decrease costs for Americans.
“Gas prices have fallen by $1.15 from their peak, which was not too long ago,” she told reporters at a press briefing. “The ninety-eighth consecutive-day decline this summer was fastest in over a decade. Every month, the typical two-driver family saves about $120 at the pump compared to where we were in mid-June. Every day, Americans save about $420 million at the pump compared to mid-June.”
Jean-Pierre, however, neglected to mention that prices were as low as $2.38 per gallon before Biden assumed office and $3.53 per gallon when Russia invaded Ukraine.
“Now, gas prices are falling again,” Jean-Pierre continued. “The average retail price is down by five cents over the last week. States that saw sharper increases in recent weeks are also seeing more rapid declines.”
Some regions are indeed witnessing especially severe rises in gas prices. For example, residents of California are paying an average of $5.94 per gallon for regular fuel and $6.59 for diesel.
Biden has emphasized green energy throughout his tenure while leasing less federal land for oil and gas drilling than any administration since the end of World War II. He has also presided over a decrease in the Strategic Petroleum Reserve from 638 million barrels to 409 million barrels, according to data from the Energy Information Administration. Soon after his inauguration, Biden also nixed Keystone XL pipeline project expansions.
The White House announced on Tuesday that officials would release another 15 million barrels from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve by December as a completion of the 180 million barrels Biden vowed to release earlier this year. When one reporter pressed Jean-Pierre on why the release was necessary if gas prices are trending downward, she claimed that Americans would receive “a little bit of breathing room” as a result of the policy.
“President Biden has said for months how he is committed to doing everything that he can in his power to address Putin’s price hike,” Jean-Pierre said. “He has said this on almost every speech that you’ve heard him talk about when it comes to gas prices and what the American people are seeing and feeling at the pump. And he’s been delivering on that.”
Democratic officials have claimed that the high energy prices will accelerate a shift toward renewable power sources. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg told the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee that the “pain we are all experiencing from the high price of gas” would cause more Americans to seek benefits from electric vehicles. The Biden administration has set the “ambitious target” of ensuring that electric vehicles constitute 50% of car sales in the United States by 2030, according to a fact sheet from the White House.