President Joe Biden on Wednesday asked Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan in a letter to immediately “consider whether illegal conduct is costing families at the pump,” as he said there’s “mounting evidence of anti-consumer behavior by oil and gas companies.”
“Prices at the pump have continued to rise, even as refined fuel costs go down and industry profits go up,” he added. “In the last month, the price of unfinished gasoline is down more than 5 percent while gas prices at the pump are up 3 percent in that same period. This unexplained large gap between the price of unfinished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average.”
Wednesday’s letter comes after the White House raised similar concerns in August and directed the FTC at that time to look into whether illegal practices were contributing to a rise in gasoline prices.
“I do not accept hard-working Americans paying more for gas because of anti-competitive or otherwise potentially illegal conduct,” the letter continued, according to Reuters. “I therefore ask that the Commission further examine what is happening with oil and gas markets, and that you bring all of the Commission’s tools to bear if you uncover any wrongdoing.”
The letter noted that prices at the pump have remained high despite a decline in the price of unfinished gasoline. “This unexplained large gap between the price of unfished gasoline and the average price at the pump is well above the pre-pandemic average,” the letter said.
According to AAA, gas prices have been rising steadily in the past year. The current national average price for a gallon of gas is $3.41, up from an average of $2.12 a year ago.