WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) – Falling gas prices have drivers excited, and the Biden administration has been quick to tout the downward trend.
AAA shows the national average of a gallon of regular gasoline is at $4.36. Spokesman Andrew Gross says the trend is encouraging.
“They’re falling, which is great news. How far they’re going to fall, we’re not quite sure,” Gross said.
White House Economic Adviser Jared Bernstein says it’s clear the Biden administration’s effort to bring down prices at the pump have paid off.
“Nobody is saying that the sole reason for the 66 cent per gallon reduction over the past 41 days is the president’s actions. What we are saying is those actions are in the mix,” Bernstein said.
Gross says the biggest reasons for the decline are lower global oil prices and less demand. A recent AAA study found nearly two-thirds of drivers changed their habits to intentionally drive less and buy less gas.
But when President Joe Biden ordered the release of oil from the strategic petroleum reserves, he says that helped too.
“If they hadn’t taken that step, could they have gone a lot higher than $5.01? It’s likely,” Gross said.
Republicans argue the Biden administration’s energy policies are to blame for the higher gas prices in the first place. Rep. August Pfluger, R-Texas, says Democrats are attacking the fossil fuel industry.
“Every tool, every weapon, every available avenue to kill this industry is being used right now,” Pfluger said.
Sen. Rick Scott, R-Fla., thinks gas prices are still far too high.
“That’s just killing families,” Scott said. “People are not going to have any opportunities if we don’t get energy under control.”
The White House agrees that gas prices still aren’t affordable enough.
“And we’ve got to do more to get them to come down further,” Bernstein said.
The Biden administration says it’s working to put a price cap on Russian oil. The president has also been calling on Congress to suspend the federal gas tax.
But there’s reason for drivers to feel optimistic. Gross says if the global market stays stable and demand stays low, the gas prices should keep dropping.