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Wednesday, August 17, 2022

CNBC questions Buttigieg about White House gas price ‘victory lap’

CNBC anchor Becky Quick grilled Biden cabinet member Pete Buttigieg on Wednesday on whether the White House was premature in “taking a victory lap” over the recent drop in gas prices.

Quick asked Transportation Secretary Buttigieg if the White House is ready to take the blame if prices rise again later this summer. Oil prices, a key input for retail gas prices, are still trading above $102 a barrel.

“This week the White House representatives on a victory lap have said the prices at the pump are low,” Quick said. “That’s certainly the case, but I wonder how concerned you should be about winning laps just yet. Most Wall Street analysts are predicting that we’ll see higher energy prices.

“If prices go up again, will you have to take the blame for the high prices you’re taking on a winning lap right now?” He asked.

Buttigieg said the White House knows gas prices are still too high.

Becky Quick said the White House could face a “blame” if gas prices rise again.
Becky Quick And Pete Buttigieg
Gas prices are still high compared to last year.

“No one here is saying ‘Mission accomplished,'” Buttigieg said. “We just want to understand that it is understood that the measures taken by the President and the Administration to help drive down the price of oil are having an effect.”

“We all know that no administration, no policy maker, no president directly controls the price of gas or the price of oil,” he said.

Gas Prices
Gas prices have fallen more than 50 cents since mid-June.
AFP via Getty Images

Buttigieg said it’s “encouraging” that gas has dropped below $4 a gallon in “most states.”

The national average gas price hit $4.467 a gallon on Wednesday, a drop of more than 50 cents from a record high of $5.016 a gallon on June 14. However, prices are still well above where they were a year ago, when a gallon pump cost $3.166.

US motorists still face huge costs, with White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein and others touting the administration’s efforts to tackle gas prices, pushing inflation to a four-decade high in June. Helped take it up to 9.1%.

Pete Buttigieg
Pete Buttigieg says the White House has yet to say “mission accomplished.”

Bernstein described the recent downtick as “one of the sharpest drops in retail gas prices in a decade”. Meanwhile, a post Biden’s official Twitter account attributed to the president’s improved release of oil from the strategic US reserve.

“Our actions are working, and prices are coming down,” Biden said.

It is still unclear how long the decline will last. Oil has fallen in recent weeks as investors worry that a Federal Reserve rate hike will trigger an economic slowdown, while a stronger US dollar weighed on oil demand, according to Reuters.

Critics have argued that Biden’s tough stance against domestic energy firms has exacerbated the problem and questioned the long-term effectiveness of the administration’s moves, such as a temporary federal gas tax holiday.

Meanwhile, most Americans are skeptical of Biden’s ability to tackle long-term inflation. A recent poll put Biden’s economic approval rating at just 30%, a lower number than his presidential predecessors.

World Nation News Desk
World Nation News Deskhttps://worldnationnews.com/
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