Biden promises relief from high gas prices

President Joe Biden acknowledged US sanctions, including on Russia’s largest banks, could drive up prices at the pump even higher.

“I know this is hard, and that Americans are already hurting,” he said. “I will do everything in my power to limit the pain the American people are feeling the gas pump…but this aggression cannot go unanswered.”

He also issued a warning to the oil and gas industry, telling companies not to “exploit this moment to hike prices to raise profits.”

One option for Biden is to release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, but that is already at its lowest level in 20 years, currently holding about as much oil as Russia produces in 50 days.

To help Americans cope with inflation, Congress could also pass gas tax credits and subsidies, said Joseph Brusuelas, chief economist at the accounting firm RSM. So far, no policymakers have suggested subsidies.

The US’s predicament highlights its dependence on oil, and the need to accelerate the transition to renewable energy, said Brusuelas. “We can’t get to that all electric vehicle fleet quick enough,” he added.

Courtney Vinopal and Tim McDonnell contributed to this story.

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.